Newchurch in Rossendale, LancashireEdit This Page
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NEWCHURCH-in-Rossendale-Forest, a parochial chapelry, in the parish of Whalley, union of Haslingden, Higher division of the hundred of Blackburn, N. division of Lancashire, 3½ miles (E. S. E.) from Haslingden; containing, with the hamlets of Deadwin-Clough, Tunstead, and Wolfenden, and part of the consolidated chapelry of Bacup, 11,668 inhabitants. The name of Rossendale is probably formed from the British word Rhos, expressive of the dusky colour of the heath grass. In the 4th of Edward II. the Forest or Chase was divided into eleven vaccaries, or cow-pastures, of which the herbage was valued at 10s. for each: in the reign of Henry VII. the number of vaccaries, or booths, had increased to nineteen, of which the herbage was estimated at advanced rents, varying from 13s. to £13. Like the vaccaries of Pendle, these booths were the foundations of townships; the township of "Dedquene-Cloghe," now Deadwin-Clough, contains the village of Newchurch. The length of the chapelry is five miles, and its breadth three; it comprises 5726 acres, and consists of three valleys, with their corresponding elevations. Although the hills are high, and naturally sterile, modern improvements, cherished by manufacturing prosperity, have carried cultivation to their summits; the arable land is about a fifth of the whole. The chapelry is watered on the south by the Irwell, which, rising at the foot of Dirplay Hill, in Cliviger, descends to Bacup by Broadclough, and passing Wolfenden runs by Tottington to Bury. At the head of Wolfenden rises Whitewell brook, which empties itself into the Irwell below the village of Newchurch. Coal-mines, and quarries of freestone, slate, &c., abound in the chapelry; and cotton and woollen goods are manufactured to a considerable extent, in their various branches. A fair for cattle is held on April 29th, and one for clothing and pedlery on the first Monday after the 24th of June. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £231; patron, the Vicar of Whalley. The chapel was originally built in 1512, and was the first place of worship erected in Rossendale Forest; in 1825 it was rebuilt, partly at the cost of the parishioners and partly by a government grant. It is in the pointed style of architecture, with lancet windows, and a handsome tower; the interior, which is light and substantial, consists of a nave, aisles, and choir. There are churches at Lumb and Tunstead; and the Wesleyans, Baptists, Unitarians, and other dissenters, have places of worship. A free grammar school was founded in 1701 by John Kershaw, who endowed it with lands situated in Heald, in Bacup; and there are large national schools. Newdigate (St. Peter)
From: A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis (1848), pp. 389-393. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=51172 Date accessed: 20 July 2010.
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