Most Haunted Live Halloween 2004 : Pendle Hill

Pendle Witches

Night One : Lower Well Head Farm, Bull Hole Farm, Tynedale Farm

Night Two : Waddow Hall

History

The relatively undiscovered region known as Pendle takes its name from Pendle Hill, which can be seen from different angles throughout the area, the ‘pen’ being the same word as the Welsh for ‘hill’.

Pendle Hill towers 1,831 ft. above the region, and as well as the obvious connection with the history of the Witches in 1612, it used to be a beacon hill at the time of the Spanish Armada.

The hill has been associated with the formation of the Quakers and of Methodism, In 1652 George Fox, the founder of the Quakers, had a vision after climbing to its summit. The Quakers flourished, but at the time were often bitterly persecuted.

The village of Trawden was home to their first meeting house in 1697, although membership began to fall around 1844, doubtless due to the strict mode of life adopted by the movement. Methodism too flourished under its founder, John Wesley, who was inspired in his sermons by the beautiful Pendle countryside and landscapes. In 1759 he was preaching to his followers in Waterside in Colne.

In 1821 Methodism flourished under Sir William Hartley Pickles and many chapels can still be seen in the region, although many have now been converted into private homes.

Sir William Hartley Pickles was one of the region’s famous sons – he set up factories for jam making and preserving, whose products grew to be world famous and helped to put the area on the map. Another well-known local was one Wallace Hartley, a musician on the ill-fated ‘Titanic’, who bravely played ‘Nearer my God to thee’ as the ship was sinking, and indeed perished with his fellow musicians and most of the passengers. He is buried in Colne and has a memorial dedicated to him in the town, which has been visited by people worldwide, particularly since the success of the recent film about the story.

The architecture of the area still reflects its history – Nelson and Colne were once towns at the heart of the Lancashire cotton industry, made famous by the author Robert Neill, author of ‘Mist over Pendle’ and ‘Songs of Sunrise’, telling the story of the lives of people in the area during the 19th Century, when passions were aroused by the introduction of power looms. Before the turn of the century indeed most people in the region were earning their living on the land or from textiles, the early morning and evening noise of clogs on cobbles could be heard throughout the area. The area also saw the Chartist riots and the arrival of gas light, and also the steam railway, the building of the Leeds/Liverpool canal for the transportation of cloth from the mills to the port of Liverpool and wool to the factories in Leeds.

The area has several pretty villages with historical connections, one of which is Wycoller (pictured right), the buildings reflecting the architecture of the 17th Century, and it is said that the Old Hall inspired Charlotte Bronte to make it the ‘Ferndean Manor’ in her ‘Jane Eyre’. The villages of Barley and Roughlee feature in the history of the Pendle Witches. All the Pendleside villages have historical backgrounds and we can only hope to give you a taste here of their charm and beauty but we feel you will be captivated by the character and mystery of the area under the shadow of Pendle Hill.

For info on the Pendle Witches visit

http://www.pendlewitchproject.co.uk/
 
First broadcast : 30th October 2004

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