Tag Archives: pendle witches

A Washed Out Witchy Wander.

My sister, niece and nephew and I ( and Hugo, of course) had planned to do the Walking With Witches Trail , a 4 mile loop starting at Barley Car Park. The pretty villages of Barley, Newchurch and Roughlee lie in the shadow of Pendle Hill. The area is famed for its spooky associations with The Pendle Witches , a group of individuals who in the 1600s were sentenced to death for witchcraft. Of course the day we set off on our witchy wander it was chucking it down with rain and the foreboding bulk of Pendle Hill was enveloped in mist.

We only managed to follow the trail from Barley to nearby Newchurch over boggy fields, before calling it a day and turning back. I didn’t take many photos, but still thought I would share with you what we did see between showers. The scarlet and yellow waxy cap mushrooms we spied along the way are a fairly good indicator of ancient meadowlands.

Newchurch is named after its ‘ new church’ of St Mary’s consecrated in 1554. The west side of the churches tower is unusual for its Eye Of God. Can you see it? Maybe the eye was there to watch over the locals, more likely it was used as a window by the bell-ringers, so they could view approaching service goers. Whichever, it is a little bit spooky on a grey Lancashire day.

St Mary’s Church with its Eye Of God.
Leaning head stones in the churchyard.

To the right of the churches porch is a Nutter family grave, inscribed with a skull and crossbones, athough it is unlikely that Alice Nutter herself was buried here. Alice Nutter was a land owning gentlewoman from nearby Roughlee. She had been involved in a boundary dispute with her neighbor , local magistrate Christopher Nowell. Maybe the dispute was easily solved when Alice herself was conveniently found to be one of the 12 people in the area sentenced to death for witchcraft.

Nutter family grave.
It is unlikely Alice was buried here as ‘ witches’ were not buried in consecrated ground.

Although the superstitious times of the 17th century are thankfully over, there is a little shop in Newchurch that sells all things witchy, so we couldn’t resist a mooch…and shelter from the rain.

Snap of Witches Galore from their website.

Inside Witches Galore there is certainly plenty to look at. My sister purchased a painted Pendle witch pebble and as for myself? An ornamental toadstool. πŸ™‚

Witches above.
Witches all around.

If only we could have used Pendle Transport ( broomsticks!) for our journey back to the car. We settled on walking to Barley along the road instead of through the muddy fields. Another time we will do the whole Walking With Witches Trail. There is so much more to explore!


Higham Circular Walk ~ The Sabden Valley.

I hope to bring you a few more photos from Lancashire walks whilst lockdown continues. 🌹

Higham nestles at the foot of Pendle Hill and the Pendle Way is a walking route which can be accessed from the village. The area has many associations with the Pendle Witches. Higham was home to several reputed victims of ‘ the witch ‘ Chattox. She allegedly turned the ale sour in the village pub ‘ The Four All’s Inn ‘ and bewitched the landlords son to death. She along with eight other people were hung on a hill above Lancaster for witchcraft in 1612.

On a more cheery note Higham was also the birthplace of Jonas Moore, who became known as ‘ The Father Of Time’ owing to his key role in establishing Greenwich Mean Time and the Greenwich Meridian. Not bad going for a Lancashire lad…

This walk is a 5.5 mile hike through a gorse strewn valley with lots of views of Pendle , old cobbled tracks and skies full of tumbling swift’s and swallows on a Sunday morning in May.

A Pendle Way sign above Higham.
Golden gorse.
Pendle Hill from above Higham.
Old wall.
Friendly horses, one in a rather posh cerice jacket. πŸ™‚
A lovely Dapple Grey who wouldn’t pose for a photo.
A beautiful Grade ll listed cottage with mullioned windows..
Geese. πŸ™‚
One was obviously a Guard Goose.
Unusual carvings.
At another farm ~ a gorgeous guinea fowl..
And a friendly mog.
Onwards along a cobbled track.
Footpath sign.
Looking back towards Pendle.
Climbing a small hill and admiring Pendle, or stopping to catch my breath. πŸ˜‰
Sheep & lamb.
Over the top of the hill..
Time for a snack.
Heading back to the village.
Wall Brown πŸ¦‹
The Four Alls Inn.
The Four Alls on the pub sign denote the following.

The King rules all.
The Priest prays for all.
The Soldier fights for all.
The Common Man pays for all.

I was really surprised by this walk. Lots of history and gorgeous scenery in what was once royal hunting ground ‘ The Forest Of Pendle’ . The area is actually now an AONB and deservedly so I think.


Walking Book – Guide To Lancashire Pub Walks by Nick Burton.

Map – OS Explorer OL21 South Pennines.

New sculptures on the Pendle Sculpture Trail.

Pendle Sculpture Trail in Aitken Wood near Barley is a great little walk that is brimming with eye catching sculptures. I’ve blogged about this trail before here , and it’s now somewhere we love to bring Hugo. Over time some of the sculptures have naturally eroded but a few more have recently been added too. We visited on a foggy Monday morning, driving through the village of Downham and over a misty Pendle Hill.

Witches on the trail.

There is ample parking in the car park in Barley ( Β£1 charge) which has a cafe & information centre. No maps featuring the new art installations were available on our visit ,but hopefully this will be remedied soon. To access the Sculpture Trail we made our way through the village , passing the Pendle Inn on our left and then Barley Garage, before following the signs up past two reservoirs and on to Aitken Wood.

Another witch on the garage.
A collie keeps a watchful eye on us.

The original Sculptures are very much inspired by the tale of the Pendle Witches. In the 1600s nine local women and one man were accused of witchcraft and tried and hung in Lancaster, as part of the Lancashire Witch trials. Of course they were no doubt innocent victims of the superstitious times they lived in. Other sculptures are inspired by the natural world and there are yet more, with a hint of the supernatural about them.

Could this be a fir cone?
Bracket Fungi , maybe.
Mischievous boggart.


Any eye-deas?


Witch Finder General.


The fog really adds to the atmosphere of the walk don’t you think? At one point I heard some bizarre sounds, that Wil and Hugo seemed completely oblivious to. Some very strange clickings & chattering’s from deep in the woods. Maybe I was letting the surroundings get to me, but I didn’t investigate further. Wil said I had probably heard a toad. Hmmmmm!

Into the woods.



I was definitely starting to believe I was in a Grimm’s Fairy tale by this point. More and more supernatural beings were emerging from the fog.

There were years written on the circular flags. Possibly denoting the time passed since the Witch trials.
Black Dog.
Dryad ( tree nymph).

Also dotted around the woods are several ceramic plaques, one for each of the accused witches.

Ceramic sheep skull plaque.
Tiny fairy on woodpecker.
Loved this one of the Pendle Witches.
One of a flock of male and female Crossbills.

As we were leaving Aitken Wood I heard a lot of activity in some conifer trees. Looking up, I saw a flock of crossbills , my first ever. A magic moment indeed.

Are there any interesting sculpture trails near you?

Sunday Sevens 14th October.

Today I thought I would round off my week with a Sunday Sevens, seven or more pictures from the last 7 days.

A Witchy Walk.

Even though we are busy decorating the kitchen at the moment ( when I say we, I really mean Wil ! ) , we did take time out for a walk in Aitken Wood near Barley. Pendle Witch country, the little conifer woods here are home to a spooky sculpture trail that tells the story of the Lancashire witch trials of 1612 . I have now reached 1300 miles walked in 2018, so still hoping to complete 1500 by the end of the year.

Guilty Pleasures. 😈

So I’m in love with the devil ! Fantasy horror writer Neil Gaiman is one of the creators of the supernatural characters in Lucifer, a TV series about the original fallen angel, the devil himself. Now residing in LA, Lucifer is keen to learn more about humanity and is even using his devilish powers for good ( well kind of πŸ˜‰ ), working as detective Chloe Decker’s wickedly sexy sidekick. Swoon! I am late to the party as usual…but totally loving this show. ❀️ You can watch it on Amazon Prime.

Witchy Read.

Also very appropriate for this time of year, how about a supernatural romance that begins in Autumn and is set in historical Oxford? Diana Bishop is a young scholar ( and reluctant witch) , who unwitingly stumbles upon an ancient enchanted manuscript, buried deep in Oxford’s Bodleian library. It’s discovery both thrills and disturbs the supernatural community, who all want to get their hands on both it and the young witch who summoned it. Diana finds herself being both hunted and protected by an ancient brooding vampire called Matthew Clairmont. This book has apparently just been made into a fantasy series on Sky, so one to look out for. For now though, I’ll just curl up with this couldron bubbling paperback romance. πŸ•ΈοΈ

Skipper Stew.

The first recipe we tried from The Little Book Of Hygge was a success! We made Skipper Stew which is a winter warming stew, perfect for Autumn and Winter. As its name suggests Skipper Stew was originally made on ships. The main ingredients are brisket ( though any meat will do), chicken stock, onions and potatoes. We served it with sourdough bread and pickled red cabbage instead of the suggested Pickled beets and Rye bread though. You can also find the recipe online here.

Wine Tasting. 🍷

Yesterday I was lucky enough to go to a Wine Tasting in Waddington with some friends. At first we were all very professional , swirling our glasses round and declaring ‘ I detect hints of elderflower’ , but it soon descended into chaos when we realised there were fifty bottles to try, in a two hour time slot. Haha. Great idea! If your thinking about wine now , check out www.winesbytimbyrne.co.uk

So that was my week, how was yours?

Back to Barley.

Birds and Barley 022

The Pendleside village of Barley and the surrounding area are fast becoming a favorite haunt of mine. Back in october we walked the Pendle Sculpture Trail with some friends. Since then we have returned a couple of times with our labrador pup Hugo. On Sunday the sun shone so we headed over the hill and I snapped a couple of photos. Unfortunately Pendle itself was shrouded in mist. A spooky reminder of the areas witchy connections.

Birds and Barley 019

Mist over Pendle.
Mist over Pendle.
A friendly little robin.
A friendly little robin.
Batty for bats.
Batty for bats.
Sun rays.
Sun rays.

Birds and Barley 026

Witchy tile.
Witchy tile.
Rosehips in February!
Rosehips in February!
I think Wil might have swapped me for this lovely lady!
I think Wil might have swapped me for this lovely lady!
Snowdrops in Barley.
Snowdrops in Barley.

I’m sure we will be returning again as there are still a few sculptures we keep missing out on. And the Barley Mow pub in the village has just reopened. Both Inns there do food and are dog friendly. So where better to go for a walk and a bite to eat!

Bye for now.

Pendle Sculpture Trail.

Although I live a stones throw from Pendle Hill ( I can see its gently brooding slopes from the bedroom window), it is not often that we have travelled to the other side of Pendle and explored the countryside there. Such an occasion though came up on Sunday afternoon.The weather was glorious, both sunny and warm, quite rare for an Octobers day. We arranged to meet my sister and her family and some friends in the pretty little village of Barley which nestles at the foot of the hill. Having done some research online , I had come across various information about ‘The Pendle Sculpture Trail’ in Aitken Wood. In the process I found a lovely new blog to follow ( Home Jules) and this is Julie’s great post about the trail and surrounding area here…

pendle Hill from Black Moss reservoirs.
pendle Hill from Black Moss reservoirs.

Having parked in Barley car park ( Β£1 charge for the day), we headed out of the village towards Black Moss Reservoirs and followed the track up to Aitken Wood. The trail is signposted so was no problem to find.Leaflets and maps are available from the Cabin Cafe, next to the car park.

Walking to Aitken Wood.
Walking to Aitken Wood.

The Sculptures take their inspiration from the areas wildlife and nature as well as various events that are associated with Pendle Hill. It is from the top of Pendle that in 1652, George Fox had a religious vision which led him to found the Quaker movement. And Pendle also has connections with witchcraft. Over 400 years ago nine innocent residents of nearby villages were hanged in Lancaster, after Britain’s biggest witchcraft trial. The sculpture trail celebrates the area’s beauty and reflects on those times past.

Broomsticks. :)
Broomsticks. πŸ™‚
Witchfinder Sculpture.
Witchfinder Sculpture.
Beautiful moss.
Beautiful moss.
Upside down Bat.
Upside down Bat.
Curving tree sculpture.
Curving tree sculpture.
Toadstools ( real ones.)
Toadstools ( real ones.)

I especially liked the ceramic plaques by artist Sarah McDade ,which were dotted around the forest. There are nine to find and each one represents one of the ‘witches’ who went on trial.

The sheep's skull  representing John Bulcock, who was said to have roasted stolen mutton at a meeting to plot the release of four witches taken to Lancaster Castle Gaol.
The sheep’s skull representing John Bulcock, who was said to have roasted stolen mutton at a meeting to plot the release of four witches taken to Lancaster Castle Gaol.
The Hare plaque represents James Device who apparently saw a strange Hare like creature after eating communion bread.
The Hare plaque represents James Device who apparently saw a strange Hare like creature after eating communion bread.
Anne Redferne was accused of making a clay doll , to put a spell on a local man.
Anne Redferne was accused of making a clay doll , to put a spell on a local man.

We had such a lot of fun doing the Pendle Sculpture Trail, although we somehow managed to miss out on spotting a few of the sculptures. Thats ok though as we intend to go again. πŸ™‚

Four kids, two Bedlington terriers and a few of the grown ups. :)
Four kids, two Bedlington terriers and a few of the grown ups. πŸ™‚

When we got back to the village , the kids had a play on the swings and then we stopped for a pint at The Pendle Inn which is dog friendly and has a decent looking menu and a selection of real ales.

Heading back with views of pendle.
Heading back with views of pendle.
Friendly cat in the village.
Friendly cat in the village.
Pendle Inn Pub sign.
Pendle Inn Pub sign.

For those of you who are interested , nearby Newchurch ( 1 mile from Barley) has a witchy shop and cafe called ‘Witches Galore’ , with a scary looking witch stood outside. I made Wil take me for a nosy before we met the others. πŸ™‚

pendle sculpture trail 005

I’m so glad we found a new area to walk in. I think its somewhere we will take a certain ‘Mr Hugo’ when he is old enough. πŸ™‚

Thanks for dropping by.

The Pendle Snow Witch.

The country is suffering from a severe lack of spring time. Snow drifts in March! Bitter cold winds. Only a few miles up the road friends have been completely snowed in on their farm. Here in Clitheroe we haven’t had it as harsh as most of the country.I think our little town is kind of protected by the looming presence of Pendle Hill.

Pendle from my work today.
Pendle from my work today.

Pendle Hill is famous for its links with The Pendle Witch trials of the seventeenth century. Back in the 1600’s just being old, haggered and the owner of a couple of cats proved rather suspicous ( good job i’m alive and kicking in the 21st century then!) , eleven people from settlements in the area were condemmed to death after being accused of and put on trial for witch craft.
pendle witch 2
The farm I grew up on at the foot of Pendle Hill.
The farm I grew up on at the foot of Pendle Hill.

I wonder if the shadowy specters of Alice Nutter and co still roam the hill side with their familiars? The eerie thing is occasionally as the last snow melts in the gully’s , a strange apparition appears on the hillside……..
A witch sometimes  appears on Pendle as the  last snow melts.
A witch sometimes appears on Pendle as the last snow melts.( Pic by Jack Barns)

Maybe she will materialize again this year πŸ™‚

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