Heywood is actually a town plus unparished area within the Metropolitan Borough of Rochdale, within Greater Manchester, England. Traditionally part of Lancashire, at the 2001 census it stood a populace of 28,024. The town lies on the south bank of the River Roch and is 2.4 miles (3.9 km) east of Bury, 3.7 miles (6.0 km) west-southwest of Rochdale, and 7.4 miles (11.9 km) north from the city of Manchester. The town of Middleton is situated to the south, while to the north is the Cheesden Valley, open moorland, as well as the Pennines. Heywood's nickname is Monkey Town, an identity known to date as far back as 1857.