Lancashire

New exhibition to mark Pendle witch trials' anniversary

A new exhibition has opened to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the Pendle witch trials.

Staged at Gawthorpe Hall in Padiham, it features rare items connected to the trials including an original copy of the book which made the trials famous.

A Wonderfull Discoverie is named after the book written by Thomas Potts who was the court clerk at the 1612 trials.

Gawthorpe Hall's Rachel Pollitt said it was a "historical look at superstitions and beliefs in that period".

The museum manager said it was a chance for people to learn about the "historical importance of the witch trials and see why they are still talked about today".

Ten Pendle people were hanged after being found guilty at Lancaster Castle of causing death or harm by witchcraft.

They were hanged on 20 August 1612 on the Gallows Hill in Lancaster on the moors close to Williamson Park.

As well as the book entitled The Wonderfull Discoverie of Witches in the Countie of Lancaster, other rare exhibits include various types of "lucky charms" people used in the 17th Century.

Ms Pollitt said: "[Mummified cats] were fairly common in old houses; they were walled up to keep good luck in the house and to keep evil spirits away."

The exhibition which runs until 8 July is the first in a series of events at Gawthorpe Hall marking the 400th anniversary of the witch trials.

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