In the 11th century after the Norman Conquest, the Forest of Rossendale passed into the hands of [ Roger
De Poictou ], 1st Lord of the Honour of Clitheroe, his stronghold was Clitheroe Castle.
It then transferred to the [ de Lacy ] family, eventually passing to [ John of Gaunt
], 1st Duke of Lancaster, whose son became Henry IV. It was owned by the sovereign
until Charles II, who on his restoration to the throne bestowed the Honour upon [ General Monk ]
(Monck) later 1st Duke of Albemarle. He was also granted the Forest of Bowland, becoming
the 1st Lord of Bowland for his services to Charles II. In 1767, the estates passed to the [ Dukedom of Buccleugh ] who
until recently possessed the freehold of the land. During the reign of Henry VII the
population of the Forest of Rossendale was about 20; chiefly Foresters and Keepers of the
Although the area has been known as Rossendale for around 1000 years, and is recorded as Crown
Forest Land, no development took place until the end of the 15th Century when the Crown
began to lease off parts of the Forest. This lead to deforestation, woodland being
replaced by rolling fields and dales, however, the Rossendale Valley as it is known today
remains a picturesque place to visit.
In the sixty years between 1801 and 1861 the population increase was 297%, whereas for rest of England and Wales as a whole it was 225%.