Pendle Hill is located in the east of Lancashire and it’s summit sits 557 (1’827ft) above sea level. Pendle Hill has links to many a historical event including that of the Pendle Witch trials which took place in the 17th Century. The hill has long been associated with all sorts of supernatural tales including witchcraft.
In 1612 ten people were found guilty of witchcraft at Lancaster Castle and were subsequently executed on the surrounding moors by hanging. At the time the country was under the rule of King James 1 and this tempestuous time in history was a period of religious persecution and superstition, certainly in the aftermath of the gunpowder plot. His fear and irritability carried harsh penalties for whoever practiced the Catholic faith, it was his suspicious nature that created an obsession with witchcraft.
In an attempt to be favoured by the king and to please his suspicious mind, over zealous magistrates pursued those believed to be practicing witchcraft. It is not actually known how these Lancashire villagers were actually found guilty, however, the crimes for which they were executed included causing madness, making clay images and using witchcraft to kill sixteen people over a period of approximately 20 years. The evidence used against them was formed by hearsay and superstition, and in this day and age, the evidence wouldn’t even be entertained in a trial.
The following documentary follows The Pendle Hill witch trials.