PENDLE HILL :: Explore :: Pendle Witches
The practice of witchcraft around Pendle Hill has been very much publicised by the famous witch trails of 1612, when 10 people were hanged at Lancaster Castle for the murder by witchcraft of 17 people. Some of the more famous of these witches were Alizon Device, Alice Nutter, Anne Redfern, The Chattox (Anne Whittle) and Jennet Preston (hanged in York).
Their lives are immortalised by the romantic drama book "Mist Over Pendle" written by Robert Neill. Every Halloween thousands of people interested in witchcraft gather in the village of Newchurch and elswhere, and walk up Pendle Hill with lighted candles.
The area around Pendle still has a sizeable pagan community. The old place names are still used and many of the buildings still stand. Alice Nutter was the mistress of Roughlee Hall, which still stands. The graveyeyard in Newchurch contains the remains of one of the witches, under a stone containing a skull and crossbones. The churchyard lies about 100 yards from our holiday cottage.