Todmorden, England, United Kingdom
July 6, 2002
The castle towers above the town on a rocky outcrop and possibly has the smallest keep in England.
Byrnes wine shop may well be the best-known in the town. Quite why a first class independent should have survived in this town in an age of chains and supermarkets I do not know, but long may it continue to do so.
Pendle Hill is a very distinctive shape and dominates views over a very wide area. It is a millstone grit hill, covered in peat, which means that it tends to be somewhat uncomfortable for walking. Its fine shape does not attract much attention when you are actually on it, either, but the views from the top make up for any curse-inducing irritation on the way up. More immediately attractive perhaps are the villages which nestle around Pendle, including Sabden, Downham and Barley, which provide a number of atractive walks and watering holes. Still very much in the Pendle environment are the towns of Blacko, Barrowford, Whalley with its abbey, and Barnoldswick. Slap in the middle of Barnoldswick is Jesters, a restaurant which will provide as good a meal as you are likely to find.
Pendle is best known for its 'witches' who now form quite an industry with souvenirs and all the rest. The known facts are fairly simple and quite stark enough to make the industry seem obscene. In March 1612 Alison Device was begging and someone called John Law refused to give her pins. She was very angry and almost immediately he became lame. This was enough to cause an 'investigation' and soon Alison Demdike, the grandmother and 'Chattox' were arrested for inquiries by Roger Nowell who already held Alison Device. A number of relatives met at Alison Device's house and they were then arrested. After a two-day trial in August ten of them were executed, including the eighty year old Demdike. I have obtained htis information from this website, which has plenty more of considerable interest.
From journal Blackpool and part of Lancashire