Newchurch in Pendle, Lancashire Genealogy

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Village History

Chapelry History

NEWCHURCH-in-Pendle-Forest, a parochial chapelry, in the parish of Whalley, union of Burnley, Higher division of the hundred of Blackburn, N. division of Lancashire, 6 miles (N. N. W.) from Burnley; comprising the four townships of Barley with Whitley, Goldshaw, Old Laund Booth, and Roughlee, and containing 2697 inhabitants. This division of the parish of Whalley is of an oblong shape, measuring six miles in length, from Admergill on the north, to Old Laund Booth on the south; and three miles in breadth, from Pendle Hill on the west, to the Colne river on the east. Pendle water, which is formed of the two branches of Ogden and Barley, both springing from Pendle Hill, flows eastward, and falls into the Wicoller and Colne waters below Barrowford; the conjoint streams form the river Colne, the eastern boundary of the chapelry, and at Filly-Close the Colne unites with the river Calder. The forest of Pendle, in and surrounding the chapelry, took its name from the hill so called, and was one of the four divisions of the great forest of Blackburnshire: it covers an extent of not less than 25 miles, or 15,000 acres. As early as 1311 it was divided into eleven places of pasture for cows, of which the principal names, as they appear in a commission of Henry VII., are still preserved. The whole forest, formerly named Penhill vaccary, and sometimes the Chase of Penhill, was perambulated in person by the first Henry de Lacy; and about 1824, this ancient ceremony was repeated. In the 11th of Edward II., when Richard de Merclesden was master-forester of Blackburnshire, William de Tatham was warden or keeper of Pendle: this officer is now called the "Greave of the Forest," holding his appointment from the landowners; he is also the head constable of the district. The substratum of the chapelry abounds with coal, of which a mine is in operation; and there are quarries of sandstone used for building. The population is chiefly employed in the hand-loom weaving of calico and mousselines-de-laine, and three cotton-mills and a worsted-mill together afford employment to about 300 persons. The Leeds and Liverpool canal passes, at the nearest point, within a mile. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £135; patrons, the Trustees of Hulme's charity; impropriators, the landowners. The chapel, dedicated to St. Mary, was erected by the inhabitants of the four townships already named, and was consecrated on the 1st of October, 1544: the body of the edifice was rebuilt about fifty years ago; but the original tower, inscribed with the date 1712, indicating that it was then heightened, still remains. At Fence, in Old Laund Booth, is a church erected in 1837, forming a separate incumbency. There are places of worship for Wesleyans and Primitive Methodists; an unendowed parochial school united with the National Society; and a second national school. In the chapelyard anciently stood a low plain cross; and near the chapel was found, a few years since, a stone mallet of British construction, having a perforation for the hand, the only relic of British art, in stone, ever discovered in the chapelry.

From: A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis (1848), pp. 389-393. URL: Date accessed: 20 July 2010.


Civil Registration

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Church records

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Probate records

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