College history

Our Namesake


The name of Pendle College comes from the 1612 Pendle Witches, nine women and two men who were accused of witchcraft, ten of whom were found guilty and hanged on Pendle Hill (that hill above, towards which the college looks out to). The witch trial, one of the most famous in English history, was recorded by clerk of the court Thomas Potts in his work The Wonderfull Discoverie of Witches in the Countie of Lancaster.

Pendle College was founded in 1974, and in those three and a half centuries a few things have changed. Although we have admitted undergraduates since 1975, Pendle College moved into a new, purpose-built location in 1993 (the University and both SCRs couldn’t decide, so whether it would be us or Grizedale College that had to move into the new accommodation was settled via a drinking game – it is a source of continual shame that we lost, and many college members can be found in the bar most nights practising for the eventual rematch). Although our buildings are quite young, our tradition for civilised, friendly and supportive communal life goes back to Pendle’s inception. Our college is run by its staff and students, the latter being represented by an annually-elected Junior Common Room Executive. This body is responsible for the organisation of a wide variety of social activities, including socials on- and off-campus, live music nights, welfare advice, and sporting events both competitive and just-for-fun.

Despite being one of the largest colleges at Lancaster University, Pendle College is one of the tightest-knit college communities on campus, with members regularly developing a particularly strong sense of both loyalty and identity. The many past generations of Pendle members often keep in touch with us (through Pendle alumni groups) for life – in short, Pendle College is a place where you will truly find that you belong.