Borough of Pendle

Pendle is a local government district and borough of Lancashire, England. It adjoins the Lancashire boroughs of Burnley and Ribble Valley, the North Yorkshire district of Craven and the West Yorkshire boroughs of Calderdale and Bradford. It has a total population of 92,112 (mid-2019 est.).[1]

Borough of Pendle
Shown within Lancashire and England
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Constituent countryEngland
RegionNorth West England
Ceremonial countyLancashire
Admin. HQNelson
  TypePendle Borough Council
  Leadership:Leader & Cabinet
  Executive:Labour/Liberal Democrats
  MPs:Andrew Stephenson
  Total65.4 sq mi (169.4 km2)
Area rank172nd
 (mid-2019 est.)
  RankRanked 264th
  Density1,400/sq mi (540/km2)
Time zoneUTC+0 (Greenwich Mean Time)
  Summer (DST)UTC+1 (British Summer Time)
ONS code30UJ (ONS)
E07000122 (GSS)
Ethnicity84.3% White
82.8% White British
0.9% White Other
0.6% White Irish
14.1% S.Asian
13.1% Pakistani
0.4% Indian
0.4% Other S.Asian
0.2% Bangladeshi
0.9% Mixed Race
0.5% Asian & White
0.2% Black Caribbean & White
0.2% Other Mixed
0.1% Black African & White
0.4% E.Asian and Other
0.2% Chinese
0.1% Other E.Asian
0.1% Other
0.3% Black
0.2% Black African
0.1% Black Caribbean
0.0% Other Black

Early history

The name Pendle comes from the Cumbric word 'Pen' meaning hill (or head), a reference to Pendle Hill. Hence the name of the modern district derives from the prominent landmark at the west of the district, which already in the Middle Ages gave its name to the royal forest which spread to its east. Pendle Forest is still the name of a significant rural part of the district, though it has long ago ceased being a forest.

The ancient lordship of Pendle Forest has been under the Honour of Clitheroe since medieval times, and a title continues to be held by a modern version, the Barons Clitheroe.

Witch trials

The area is closely associated with the trials of the Pendle witches, among the most notorious such trials in English history.

Creation of the modern district

The current district with this name was created in 1974 as a result of local government reorganisation from the former Municipal Boroughs of Nelson and Colne, the former urban districts of Barnoldswick, Barrowford, Brierfield, Earby and Trawden, and from parts of Burnley Rural District and Skipton Rural District.

The Barnoldswick, Earby and Skipton parts are historically in the West Riding of Yorkshire. They are today referred to collectively as West Craven.

Neighbouring districts



The Pendle constituency is represented in Parliament by the Conservative Member of Parliament, Andrew Stephenson, since 2010. Since its creation in 1983 its boundaries have been coterminous with those of the borough, however the constituency boundaries were redrawn in 1997 due to local government boundary changes in the 1980s.


Elections to the borough council are held in three out of every four years, with one third of the 49 seats on the council being elected at each election. Since the Liberal Democrats lost overall control of the council at the election in 2008, no party has had a majority on the council. In 2018, the BNP lost their final councillor seat. As of the election of 2018, the council is composed of the following councillors:-[2]

Party Councillors
Conservative Party 25
Labour Party 15
Liberal Democrats 9


The three main employers in the borough are Rolls-Royce plc, Silentnight and the Daisy Group.[citation needed]

Places in Pendle

Parishes in Pendle Borough
Contemporary civil parish Map
Medieval jurisdiction Medieval jurisdiction Early modern jurisdiction
Barley-with-Wheatley Booth1Pendle Forest, manor of IghtenhillForest of BlackburnshireWhalley, Lancashire: once a much larger parish than today.
It encompassed a large part of eastern Lancashire.
It also included areas outside Pendle.
Old Laund Booth15
Goldshaw Booth10
Reedley Hallows16
Roughlee Booth17
Higham-with-West Close Booth11
Trawden Forest19Trawden Forest, manor of Colne
Nelson14manor of Ightenhill, not in ForestBlackburnshire, not in Forest
Colne7manor of Colne, not in Forest
Laneshaw Bridge13
Barnoldswick2Now referred to as "West Craven".
This is a part of Lancashire, which was once in the neighbouring West Riding of Yorkshire.
(Within the Wapentake of Staincliffe, Deanery of Craven.)
Bracewell and Brogden5
Kelbrook and Sough12
Places in the Borough of Pendle          Forest of Bowland AONB

Freedom of the Borough

The following people and military units have received the Freedom of the Borough of Pendle.


Military Units



  1. "Population Estimates for UK, England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, Mid-2019". Office for National Statistics. 6 May 2020. Retrieved 6 May 2020.
  2. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. "Olympic gold medallist Steven Burke given civic honour". BBC News. 3 August 2012. Retrieved 18 July 2021.
  4. "London 2012 Olympics gold medal hero Steven Burke granted Freedom of Pendle". Burnley Express. 6 August 2012. Retrieved 18 July 2021.
  5. "Congratulations to Pendle's triple Olympic cycling champion". Pendle Borough Council. 24 August 2016. Retrieved 18 July 2021.
  6. Spencer, Andrew (14 May 2015). "Duke of Lancaster's Regiment parade through Colne". Pendle Today. Retrieved 18 July 2021.