Adjoining to the borough of Clitheroe, on the east, is the ancient Chapelry of New Church in Pendle Forest, made a separate parish under Lord Blandford's Act, in 1867. This division of the parish of Whalley is of an oblong form, measuring six miles in length from Admeril, in the north, to Old Laund Booth, in the south, and six miles in breadth from Pendle Hill, on the west, to Colne Water, on the east. Pendle Water, which is formed of the two branches of Ogden and Barley, both springing from Pendle Hill, flows east, and falling into the Wycoller and Colne waters below Barrowford, the conjoint streams form the eastern boundary of the chapelry, and effect confluence at Filley Close with the river Calder. The forest of Pendle, in and surrounding this chapelry, takes its name from the hill so called, and was one of the four divisions of the great forest of Blackburnshire. This forest covers an extent of no less than 25 square miles, or 15,000 statute acres. In 1311, the great De Lacy Inquisition states that the pannage of Pendle Forest was sometimes "nothing worth," but commonly, one year with another, it was worth 6s, 8d, to the lord Henry de Lacy, Earl of Lincoln, who also had the agistments and summer and winter herbage of Pendle; and the profits of hay sold there, taking only 1d for every cartload carried away, amounted, one year with another, to 6s. 8d. He also had the profits of the wood sold in the forest. At this time there were eleven vaccaries (places of pasture for cows) in Pendle Forest, and the herbage and agistments of each vaccary were valued to the lord at 10s., or in all 110s. yearly. Of these vaccaries the principal names, as they appear in a commission of Henry VII., are preserved.
The forest, formerly called Penhill Vaccary, and sometimes the Chace of Penhill, were perambulated in person by the first Henry de Lacy; and about the year 1824 this ancient ceremony was repeated. In 11 Edward II. (1317-18) when Ric. 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. In 6 Henry VIII. (1514) puture was paid for the forest, which was reclaimed towards the close of that reign.