There has been a church on this site for over 700 years. St James Parish Church, Haslingden, Rossendale, has been here since 1250. Over the generations it has been central to the community it still serves in many ways. The worship is traditional and centred upon the Parish Eucharist to which everyone is welcome and within which there is fellowship and friendship.

ST James’ offer several different kinds of worship including the formality of the Sunday Eucharist with traditional hymns, music and prayers. There is also a weekday quiet Eucharist, and a very informal Friday Church for all ages which often takes the form of a Café Church with a music group.

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There was a brickworks here in the 1800s. “Go in peace and sin no more” says the sign at Stone Fold. John Wesley, who passed this way in 1788, would certainly have approved, though he vowed never to come again until the road was mended.

A new brick company for Haslingden – A company has been formed with a capital of £2,000 to acquire, refurnish and work the Slate Brick Works, formerly worked by the owner Mr. John Greenwood. Operations are expected to commence a month hence. Messrs. D. Halstead, E. Schofield, W. H. Blaney, E. Barlow, H. Tattersall, H. Hall, A. Bailey, and James Watt are the princupal shareholders at present. [Ramsbottom Observer 7th February 1896]

The Halo is one of a series of ‘Panopticans’. Design by John Kennedy, LandLab.

Rossendale’s Panopticon, ‘Halo’, is an 18m-diameter steel lattice structure supported on a tripod five metres above the ground. From its position on Top o’ Slate, an old quarry and former landfill site situated in the hills above Haslingden in the Rossendale Valley, it is clearly visible for miles around.

‘Halo’ is lit at night using the latest LED technology and after dark glows a sky-blue colour, appearing to hover above the town. This dramatic gateway piece overlooks the A56, welcoming visitors to Pennine Lancashire.

‘Halo’ is the centrepiece of a wider scheme, led by the REMADE in Lancashire programme, Groundwork Pennine Lancashire and Rossendale Borough Council, which has reclaimed and returned to public use 33 hectares of land including Top o’ Slate and the adjacent Duckworth Clough. New tree and shrub planting has taken place and picnic tables, seating and interpretation features have been introduced, together with improved footpaths.

From the attractively re-landscaped site there are dramatic views overlooking the Rossendale Valley, and on the horizon can be seen both Darwen Tower and Peel Tower. To the south the visitor can see Bury and Manchester and, in the distance beyond, the Derbyshire Pennines.

Panopticans was devised and managed by Mid Pennine Arts with a network of partners across Pennine Lancashire.