Photo by John Darch
Sabden was originally a small village formerly a part of the township of Heyhouses. A new township called Sabden was formed in 1904, consisting of Heyhouses, (which has ceased to be a township), and parts of Pendleton, Higham, Wiswell, Read, Northtown (in Padiham) and Goldshaw Booth. The new township of Sabden consists of the entire valley from Dean Farm to Green Bank. The Sabden Brook flows through this valley west and southwest to the Calder. There it is supplemented with brooks running from Pendle.
The village area of Sabden itself is flanked by Pendleton and Read. The road from Clitheroe to Padiham passes through Sabden. The old packhorse road from Clitheroe went over Read Height to the bridge at Altham, then turned south to Hameldon. Pendle cross stood on the top of the hill above Wellsprings Inn.
Sabden, being a small township, did not have a Manor house. In 1342 Richard de Radcliffe held 80 acres of waste in Sabden within Pendle.
The purity of the water at Sabden attracted the calico printer. A cotton factory was established about 1790. In 1808 Miller, Burys & Co. had extensive works with nearly 2,000 persons employed in printing calicoes by block work and hand-pencilling. The works were considered the most efficient in the county. In 1830 the works were sold by the Forts to Richard Cobden, and in association with the late Mr. George Foster, attained great prosperity. The trade still continues.
Bibliography: Townships: Heyhouses, A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 6 (1911), pp. 513-514.