What’s in a name?
In Old English, blaec meant black or bleak, and rodu meant ‘clearing’, although some think that ‘rod’ refers to the Holy Rood, which is a Christian relic that is assumed to have come from the cross on which Jesus Christ was crucified (“Holyrood (cross)”, [s.d.]). The name of the village has its origins in Roman times, when the local garrison was forced to clear a patch of ground so that they could survey the surrounding forests that the Britons used as a hiding place (Bolton.org.uk, 2013).
Kate Long, best-selling novelist, describes her childhood, in an interview with Lancashire Life (“Blackrod author Kate Long on how Bad Mother made her a better mum.” 2013): “I was taken back to Blackrod in Lancashire, a pit village between Wigan and Bolton, and grew up in a red brick terrace with a startling view of Rivington Pike.” The Pike is the summit of Winter Hill, in the West Pennine Moors, overlooking Rivington, from which there is a scenic cycling route through to Blackrod (“Blackrod cycling trails”, [s.d.]).