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Wow - a Real Witch's House?

Blog by David Holding, author of “The Pendle Witch Trials of 1612".

An interesting article appeared in the Lancashire press in December 2011 under the headline:


Engineers have said they were stunned to unearth a 17th century cottage, complete with a cat skeleton, during a construction project in Lancashire. The cottage was discovered near Lower Black Moss reservoir in the village of Barley, in the shadow of Pendle Hill. Archaeologists brought in by United Utilities to survey the area, found the building under a grass mound. Historians are now speculating that the well-preserved cottage could have belonged to one of the Pendle Witches. The building contained a sealed room with the bones of the cat bricked into the wall. It is believed that the cat was buried alive to protect the cottage’s inhabitants from evil spirits

Carl Sanders, United Utilities’ project manager said "It’s not often you come across a fairy-tale cottage, complete with witch’s cat. The building is in remarkable condition. You can walk through it and get a real sense that you are seeing into the past. Pendle Hill has a real aura about it, and it’s hard not to be affected by the place”.

United Utilities routinely bring in experts before turning the topsoil in areas believed to have archaeological significance. A spokesman for NP Archaeology said, “It’s like discovering your own little Pompeii. As soon as we started digging, we found the tops of doors, and we knew we were on to something special”.

About 'The Pendle Witch Trials of 1612'

The book provides readers with a sequential overview of the famous chain of events which ultimately led to the execution of women accused of practising witchcraft in the county of Lancashire. It is presented as a chronological account of the famous trials at Lancaster Castle in 1612. The reader is introduced to all the evidence and interview transcripts which formed the major plank of the prosecution case. The book will appeal to both the general reader and local historian.


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