Dominating the landscape for miles around is magnificent Pendle Hill, all 1,831 feet of it. Not quite a mountain, yet big enough to inspire all who see it, including George Fox, whose vision from the top of Pendle of a new way of life led to his founding of the Quaker movement.
This “brooding” hill of Robert Neill’s classic story ‘Mist Over Pendle’ is home to an abundance of wildlife, from grouse and curlew to hare and fox, and it provides endlessly fascinating walks over its springy turf and tussocks of moorland grass. For the more energetic it is the ideal place for hang-gliding where the thermals can pick you up and whisk you away like a bird in flight, or you could try dry-skiing on the purpose built slope.
However it is the mysterious magical tales of the Pendle Witches that attract today’s visitors.
The Pendle Witches
1612 saw the birth of the legend of the Pendle Witches. In a time of superstition and paranoia, accusations of witchcraft were levied against several families in the villages around Pendle Hill. These women were accused, confessed, tried, found guilty and executed by being hanged on the Gallows at Lancaster.
Their names are famous to this day Old Chattox, Alison Device, Alice Nutter and Old Mother Demdike. They were no more witches than you or I; but the stories surrounding them give a fascinating insight into the climate of the times.
2012 sees the 400th anniversary of the Pendle Witches trials, look out for the special events put on to celebrate this infamous occasion including a ‘A Wonderfull Discoverie’ – The Lancashire Witches 1612-2012. An exhibition to mark the 400th anniversary of the trial and execution of the Lancashire Witches at Gawthorpe Hall.
Pendle Witch Experience Tours
To find out more about the Pendle Witches why not join one of the guided tours around the area – the Pendle Witch Experience offers guided coach tours around the Pendleside villages that were the setting for this enthralling tale.