A Wonderfull Discoverie: The Lancashire Witches 1612-2012. The exhibition commemorates the 400th Anniversay of the Pendle Witch Trials.
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A Wonderfull Discoverie - The Pendle Witches - The White Goddess

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Thursday, 07 July 2022

A Wonderfull Discoverie

A Wonderfull Discoverie

A Wonderfull Discoverie: The Lancashire Witches 1612-2012

Sat 31 March Sun 8 July

A new exhibition exploring the case and its context, investigating superstitions and beliefs in the 400th anniversary year of the Lancashire Witch Trials.

The Exhibition

The exhibition commemorates the 400th Anniversary of the Pendle Witch Trials.  It consists of around 20 to 30 exhibits, several being on loan from various museums.

Witch Bottles

The witch bottle is a very old spell device. Its purpose is to draw in and trap harmful intentions directed at its owner and protects against evil spirits and magical attack, and counteracts spells cast by witches.  They contained urine, hair or nail clippings, or red thread and were then buried.

Witch Balls

They had two, which were on loan from Bradford Museum - they were hollow coloured glass spheres that were hung in windows to ward off spirits, spells or ill fortune. They were very common during the 18th century in Yorkshire.

Hag Stones

Also known as Adder Stones, which have a naturally occurring hole through it.  They were commonly used in Lancashire in place of Witch Balls and hung in windows and used as protection against evil charms.

Witch Sticks

They had several of these, some looked like a walking stick - and were filled with what looked like tiny coloured beads. Another, which looked like it originally was in one piece (I could be mistaken though), was a straight glass stick with a sphere on the end. They were used to provide protection against evil spirits, negative forces and ill-wishes seeking entry to the home.

Stroking Stones

They had a couple of these stroking stones, one was heart shaped and another which was flat like a palm stone. They were used in healing magic's (and sometimes had representations of body parts on them).

Mummified Cat

They also had a mummified cat - on loan from Bradford Museum - which had been found sealed in a wall - which was supposed to keep away witches, the evil eye, and bad luck.

In fact they found one recently in a weavers cottage that was thought to have been the Malkin Tower used by the Pendle Witches.

Childs Shoes

There were several examples of children's shoes that had been found sealed in walls which had been found in a local pub - apparently again to ward off bad luck.

There was also an original copy of the 1613 book by the court of the clerk, Thomas Potts: The Wonderfull Discoverie of Witches in the Countie of Lancaster, which detailed the Pendle Witch Trials.

As well as the exhibits there were several panels of information about the trials themselves.

All in all it was an interesting, if somewhat small exhibition.

See website for Opening Times and Admission prices.

Gawthorpe Hall
Padiham, Nr Burnley
BB12 8UA

Gawthorpe Hall Website »

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