Heywood was for many centuries a part of Bury, while pockets of the town remained a part of Middleton. After less than a century of independence (1888-1974), it is now part of Rochdale, for better or for worse. Understanding the history these towns helps us to better understand Heywood.
History of Rochdale by Henry Fishwick (online book)
Historical Middleton by John Dean (online book)
The Buildings of Edgar Wood in Middleton Town Centre (online guide - PDF)