The Pendle Witches fascinate me and have done from the very first day I moved to Lancashire. Who were these ladies and men labeled and murdered for being witches? When you really think about it, it’s heartbreaking that this happened in the name of the King of England, and what is the real story. I suppose we will never know? But where is there around Pendle for families to explore the Pendle Witch Trail and find out more?
Here’s a list of suggested Pendle Witch things to do and see in Pendle. If you want to find out more about the witches, but also visit some magical places and see glorious views check out my Pendle Witch Trail for families.
A Little About The Pendle Witches
There were 11 witches from Pendle, 10 of which were tried at Lancaster Castle in August 1612. However Demdike died in Lancaster prison awaiting trial.
Who Were The Pendle Witches
- Elizabeth Southern (Old Demdike)
- Elizabeth Device
- Alison Device
- James Device
- Anne Whittle (Old Chattox)
- Ann Redfearn
- Jane Bulcock
- John Bulcock
- Alice Nutter
- Alice Grey
- Katherine Hewitt
What’s The Story Of The Pendle Witches?
The event that’s said to have sparked the Pendle Witch Trial occurred on March 18 1612, when Demdike’s granddaughters Alizon Device was out begging.
On the way to Trawden Forest she crossed paths with a man called John Law, a peddlar from Haifax. Alizon asked John for some metal pins, however he refused and walked away. It was then claimed she put a curse on him, thus he collapsed, was paralysed and unable to speak.
We can now guess it was probably a stroke, however at the time it was believed that Alizon had used witchcraft to deliberately hurt John.
As a result of King James I’s belief in the existence of witchcraft, an Act was passed which imposed the death penalty “for making a covenant with an evil spirit, using a corpse for magic, hurting life or limb, procuring love, or injuring cattle by means of charms”. thus began the Pendle Witches Trial.
Follow The Local Pendle Witch Trail
And find out a little more about the Pendle Witches the local area with my family Pendle Witch trail. Here’s a list of local places linked to the Pendle Witches and their history.
The Pendle Witch Museum
Located in the Pendle Heritage Centre in the village of Barrrowford. The Pendle Witches Museum tell the story of the witches via a short film. It’s not a long exhibition but a great place to start your Pendle Witch Trail journey.
The Pendle Witch museum gives you a nice background and sets the scene, before continuing on your search for the Pendle Witches.
Check here for opening times and prices, I can also thoroughly recommend the tea rooms and take out ice cream. Also Barrowford Park is a wonderful place for a family walk.
The Witches Shop In Newchurch
You can’t go on a Pendle Witches trail and not visit Witches Galore! This is the cutest village shop filled with witch themed souvenirs. However for me the highlight is the witches waiting to greet you outside the shop during opening times.
The Witches Galore witch shop is located in Newchurch Village not far from St Mary’s Church where the some of the witches remains are said to be buried, with a tombstone known as the Witches’ Grave overlooked by the “Eye of God”.
Visit The Alice Memorial In Roughlee Village
The statue was designed and installed by villager David Palmer, but was the idea of Pendle councillor James Starkie, whose interest in the story dates back to his time as an art student in Lancaster.
Alice Nutter was unusual among the accused as she was the wealthy widow of a farmer. She kept silent throughout her trial except to enter a plea of not guilty to the murder of Henry Mitton by witchcraft.
She was later hanged after a statement by a nine year old witness, Jennet Device, who claimed she had been present at witches’ coven meeting at Malkin Tower meeting on Good Friday, 1612.
The statue is truly stunning, Alice has a sadness about her you can just feel.
Also whilst you are in the village, the Bay Horse Inn has a lovely courtyard for a drink on a sunny day. When its cold the huge open fire is a welcoming and friendly place to get warm.
The Pendle Sculpture Trail
The Pendle Sculpture Trail can be found just outside the village of Barley and is filled with magical sculptures and also a memorial for the Pendle Witches.
Allow a good 3-4 hours for the trail as there is a lot to see and quite a long walk from Barley Car Park to the trail, however the walk is well worth it.
Filled with magical creatures and sculptures under the canopy of the forest the sculpture trail has such a wonderful magical feel.
This is a perfect family activity for a lovely sunny days, check out the link above about for more info on how to find the sculpture trail and where to park. However do check it’s open first.
Climb Pendle Hill
You can’t do a Pendle Witch trail and not climb Pendle Hill? All of the Pendle witches were rumoured to live on and around Pendle Hill. Thus this local landmark is central to local history and stories of the witches.
It takes about 2.5 hours to climb and is 380 metres high. But is also a wonderful family adventure, and the views from the top are breathtaking!
However if your little ones and teens need an incentive? Pop to the Cauldron Ice Cream Hut at the foot of Pendle Hill.
Visit their Facebook page to see what’s going on at the Cauldron, and if you’re visiting at Easter Check out the Easter egg hunt around Pendle Hill.
Visiting the Pendle Area On The Pendle Witch Trail
If you’re visiting the Pendle Area and looking for somewhere to stay locally check out these gorgeous cottages and glamping sites in the area. And if you are out and about in the region, here’s where you can grab an ice cream.
Please note due to current restrictions not all venues and attractions will be open so please check ahead.