A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 6. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1911.
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HIGHAM WITH WEST CLOSE BOOTH
Hegham, 1296. Westecloos, 1323.
This township is mainly upon the southern slope of the long ridge already mentioned as extending west from Pendle Hill, and is bounded on the south by the Calder; but it extends over the northern slope also, including part of the course of Sabden Brook. The ridge attains within the township a height of 828 ft. above sea level. The village of Higham lies on the southern slope at a height of over 600 ft. above the sea; West Close is a little lower down, and at the foot of the hill near the Calder is Pendle Hall, with Hunterholme to the west of it. On Sabden Brook stand houses called Dean and Lower Dean. The area of the township is 1,584 acres (fn. 1); there is a small detached portion to the east. In 1901 there was a population of 591, to which should be added 30 in the detached portion.
The principal road leads eastward through Higham village, from Padiham to Fence and Barrowford. There is a minor road along the west of the ridge.
The soil is clay, with rocky subsoil; the land is mostly in grass. There are cotton-mills and shuttle works.
The detached part of the township was added to Old Laund Booth in 1898, (fn. 2) and another part was included in the new township of Sabden in 1904.
There is a parish council.
Though not properly speaking a manor, HIGHAM was often described as one, because the halmote courts are held there. (fn. 3) Lying within the forest of Pendle there is little to be said of its history. (fn. 4) At the disforesting in 1507 it contained three of the royal or ducal vaccaries, viz. West Close and Hunterholme, Higham Booth, (fn. 5) and Higham Close, formerly called Nether Higham. (fn. 6)
In West Close, an ancient inclosure from the forest, a family named Cronkshaw or Cranshaw were long established, (fn. 7) and in 1600 Leonard Cronkshaw was returned as a freeholder. (fn. 8) Another estate was known as Pendle Hall; it passed by marriage from the Hancock family (fn. 9) to the Andertons of Euxton. (fn. 10) It is now part of the Huntroyde estate. Fence is partly in this township and partly in Old Laund. (fn. 11) White Lee was formerly owned by a family named Moore. (fn. 12) Sir Jonas Moore, distinguished as an engineer and mathematician, was born there in 1618. He died in 1679, having taken part in the draining of the Fens in 1651 and served as Surveyor of Ordnance to Charles II. (fn. 13) The land in the township is now in the hands of a large number of holders.
For the Church of England a chapel of ease to Padiham was erected in 1874; it is called St. John the Evangelist's.
The Wesleyan Methodists (fn. 14) have a chapel, erected in 1812 and enlarged later. It was replaced by the present chapel in 1872.
'Hachiller or Ashlar House, an ancient dwelling with the date 1594 over the door . . . is traditionally said to have been originally erected as a Catholic chapel and a dwelling-house for the officiating priest.' (fn. 15) The old name was the New House within the Forest of Pendle, or else the Fence. (fn. 16) This was purchased by Mr. Starkie of Huntroyde in 1857. (fn. 17)