The Pendle Witches and Pendle Area

Alice NutterWithin a short distance of Moorlodge Country Retreat one of the most famous trials in history had its start. Over 400 years ago a group of women and men, including Alice Nutter, were accused of witchcraft they became known as the Pendle Witches. With 15 people in the accused group this was one of the biggest witch trials of the 17th century. When the clerk of the court, Thomas Potts, was told to write the official publication, ‘The Wonderfull Discoverie of Witches in the Countie of Lancaster’ it also became one of the best documented.

You can follow the important points in the story on the witch’s trial either walking round the local area. Alternatively you can drive the full story from Pendle side to Lancaster Castle and the courtroom where the accused were tried and the convicted executed. Once at the castle you can have a guided tour round bringing the whole story to life. Both trails are available to download from the Visit Lancashire website.

For those with an interest in all things occult and supernatural you can combine the Pendle trails with the ghost walks at Wycoller and a visit to the many haunted houses in the area, for a full weekend of ghosts, ghouls and witches.

Pendle isn’t only known for the witch trials, on the summit was found a Bronze Age Burial site. Robert Towneley also used Pendle Hill for experiments to recognise the change in pressure with height. George Fox is said to have a revelation on Pendle that was the inspiration for the subsequent formation of the Quaker movement.

For those of you with wanting a more energetic pastime, you can complete the Pendle Three Peaks. Taking in Pendle, Boulsworth and Weets it is there 5 to 8 mile walks. There is also the Pendle Way a more strenuous 45 mile walk round the Pendle area signposted by witches on brooms.