Thursday, 18 July 2013


During the second week of my annual leave we mostly pottered around at home. However, on the Thursday we ventured over to Pendle, collecting Chickpea's boyfriend, Ben, on the way. Our starting point was the Heritage Centre at Barrowford.

On the ground floor there are exhibits on the history of the building which dates from the 1400s. This room was laid out with a 17th century scene. Upstairs was a video and display boards telling the story of the Pendle Witches and the events which lead to the famous trial and conviction. We planned to visit some of the villages connected to the witches en route to our next destination.

Outside there's a small walled garden filled with cottage garden plants and vegetables.

I thought this one was particularly interesting though I haven't a clue what it is. I took a photo of the label underneath but, when I looked it up at home, it's a completely different plant.

You can also take a walk around the edge of the property and we came across this horse. He was a real beauty and clearly not your average breed. With his long mane, floor length tail and regal stature, Chickpea said he was the kind of horse you'd want your prince to come and rescue you on! (A colleague at work reckons he's a Welsh Cob)

Leaving the Centre, we drove out to the village of Roughlee to see the statue of Alice Nutter. She was the widow of a yeoman farmer and pleaded not guilty to the charges of witchcraft. However, those were superstitious times and she was found guilty and hanged with 9 others in 1612.

Next stop was Newchurch-in-Pendle. On the front of the tower of St Mary's Church is a small oval carving said to be the "Eye of God", warding off evil. No-one knows the real explanation.

Outside the main entrance is a gravestone with the carving of a skull and crossbones and, adjoining it, a headstone with the name Ellin Nutter and the date 1651. The theory is that this was a relative of Alice. However, I've also since read that these are common symbols for mortality. You can tell these were taken before the current heatwave as that's rain on the gravestone.

Near the church, I left Chickpea and Ben sitting on a bench and climbed a steep track to see the views from the top. The track was part of the witches trail and we saw several of these signs in the area. There's also a trail that can be done by car.

It was worth the climb though my heart was pounding when I got to the top - really must exercise more! Just above the rooftops you can see the flag of the church.

Behind me was one of the many views we'd get of Pendle Hill. It was quite cloudy at this point but, even when it's a bright day, the Hill always seems dark and brooding.

Down at the bottom was another reminder of the witches: the sign on the shop, Witches Galore.

And, funnily enough, a black cat! Everywhere we go, we seem to come back with a photo of a cat that Chickpea has managed to befriend.

Our final destination was Barley where we left the car and headed up the road towards the Pendle Sculpture Trail at Aitken Wood. The path is almost totally uphill and pretty steep in places (well at least to us unfit types). Ben gave Chickpea a helping hand from time to time!

Another view of Pendle Hill with Black Moss Reservoir in the foreground.

As part of the Sculpture Trail, there are ten ceramic plaques by Sarah McDade, each one symbolising one of the ten people accused of witchcraft. These four represent: Katherine Hewitt (top left), John Bulcock (top right), Anne Whittle (bottom left) and Anne Redferne (bottom right).

This sculpture, Reconnected 1, is by Philippe Handford. I think it was my favourite - it's so clever.

And this is Reconnected 2.

'Life Circle'. Hands up all those who can now hear the music of 'Circle of Life' in their head!

Finally, and funnily enough, this one is Owl. There are 15 sculptures dotted throughout the Wood so I've just shown you a selection.

The path through Aitken Wood eventually led us out onto the top of the hill with views over the countryside.

What really got me excited though was to see that the field was covered in cotton grass which I've been dying to get a closer look of since seeing so many gorgeous photos of it on Louise's blog.

By now it was late afternoon and time to head for home. A last look at Pendle Hill.

And some lovely views of the lush green Lancashire countryside.

And a slightly hazy but no less beautiful one.

We ended the day going out for a meal with Ben and his parents in a local pub, with views over to Blackpool and the Lancashire coast, to celebrate Ben getting his first car. I think we'll be seeing a lot more of him :)

Next time I think I'll share the sausage recipe. There won't be any more of the radish though: I've just been out to do some watering and they've gone to seed in the heat without producing any bulbs. The courgette is in overdrive though so the daily teatime question is 'what do you want with your courgette'! xx


  1. This looks like a really wonderful place to visit with so much history. I love the horse photo and I completely agree with what Chickpea said about him! The metal witches above the shop remind me of those I have sign in Alloway at Poets Path.
    Wishing you a lovely weekend,
    Marianne x

  2. Beautiful outing! I love thew tree sculptures and all those witch signs!

  3. What a fascinating post it looks an amazing place to visit I shall have to put it on my list. We went to the Museum of Witchcraft in Boscastle last year which was so interesting I didn't want to leave it really drew me in. Thanks for sharing ... am off to see how far it is to Pendle ~ Sarah x

  4. I really enjoyed this! Your cotton grass photo is gorgeous! We visited the heritage centre last year and I thought it was really interesting. We keep saying we'll walk up Pendle Hill but never do - I'm hoping to do so in a few weeks when we are that way. I'd like to go to the sculpture trail too - they look great.

  5. All your photos are great but the one of the cotton grass is really gorgeous. Pendle hill looks creepy, I have to say. I've never been but would like to go very much. xx

  6. Sounds like you all had a lovely day out. I really like the 1st tree sculpture too, and love your photo of the cotton grass field.

  7. this has def inspired me to take a pendle witchy type of day trip. Beautiful pics.:-)

  8. It looks a beautiful walk. I'm over on the north east coast but I occasionally head that way.