By 1863 a committee had been formed, and with aid from central government, land was purchased with the intention of employing local cotton workers to construct Alexandra Park, which opened on 28 August 1865.as the importation of cheaper foreign yarns grew during the 20th century, Oldham's economy declined into a depression, although it was not until 1964 that Oldham ceased to be the largest centre of cotton spinning.His factories, which improved upon his father's fireproof mills, accounted for a 40% increase in Oldham's spindles between 18.Although textile-related engineering declined with the processing industry, leading to the demise of both Stotts and Platts, other engineering firms existed, notably electrical and later electronic engineers Ferranti in 1896.He served a seven-year apprenticeship with Sir Charles Barry, before starting a structural engineering practice in Oldham in 1847 that went on to become the pre-eminent mill architect firm in Lancashire.
On the back of the Industrial Revolution, Oldham developed an extensive coal mining sector, correlated to supporting the local cotton industry and the town's inhabitants, though there is evidence of small scale coal mining in the area as early as the 16th century.
Occurring with particular intensity in the Glodwick area of the town, the Oldham riots were the worst racially motivated riots in the United Kingdom for fifteen years prior, briefly eclipsing the sectarian violence in Northern Ireland in the media.
At least 20 people were injured in the riots, including 15 police officers, and 37 people were arrested.
For three days in late May 2001, Oldham became the centre of national and international media attention.
Following high-profile race-related conflicts, and long-term underlying racial tensions between local White British and Asian communities, major riots broke out in the town.