Places to visit, attractions, heritage and things of interest in Lancashire, North West England.

The Witches of Pendle

St Mary's, Newchurch, Lancashire

The story of the Witches of Pendle is one of the most sinister and troubling tales to come out of Lancashire.  It does not feature cackling old hags riding broomsticks across the night sky, but real living beings, victims of time and circumstance.  The broad facts are well-known locally, but lest you be unaware, in […]

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The ghosts of Wycoller

Wycoller Hall

It is a wild, wind-blown, rain-lashed winter’s night.  A spectral horse gallops up to the moss-covered ruins of old Wycoller Hall, the rider a man dressed in early 17th century fashion  He slides swiftly from the saddle, enters the house and dashes up long-vanished stairs.  A door is flung open.  Terrified shrieks pierce the pitch

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Test your lungs on Pendle Hill

Pendle Hill from the south east

Pendle Hill looms over East Lancashire between the towns of Clitheroe and Nelson.  With its distinctive humpback shape, visible for miles around from all directions, it is a local landmark, rising from an area of green beauty.  The district is dotted with tiny hamlets and farms, divided by ancient drystone walls and full of folklore

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A Silverdale saunter

Silverdale cave

This walk round Silverdale began as a bimble, but in the interest of alliteration became a saunter. Silverdale, for those not in the know, is a small, almost modest, parish nestling close to the Kent estuary on Morecambe Bay in the northern English county of Lancashire.  As you would expect, it possesses a little natural

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Race relations and the place names of North West England

Lake District

I have recently wondered if there is a particular lesson for us in the old place names of North West England.  Now, the interpretation of place names can be a complicated, uncertain, business and it should be stressed that I am no toponymist.  That said, a lack of knowledge doesn’t deter anyone these days, and

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What does Gawthorpe Hall remind you of?

Gawthorpe Hall

The first sight of Gawthorpe Hall may strike a chord with fans of Downton Abbey, the period soap-opera that follows the fortunes of the Crawley family and those that serve them.  I’m sure those of the true Fellowes’ faith will correct me, but doesn’t this Lancashire house look a little like Highclere Castle, the real

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Hunting Hobbits in Lancashire

Cromwell's_Bridge, Lancashire

Middle Earth is in Lancashire; it’s official.  Just as Beatrix Potter was inspired by the Lake District, Thomas Hardy by his native Dorset and AA Milne, in a manner of speaking, found Pooh in Ashdown Forest, so JRR Tolkien is claimed to have been illuminated by the verdant countryside of the Ribble Valley.  John Ronald

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Our Brontë tour begins in Haworth

Haworth, Bronte Parsonage, Cemetary

Who was the third Brontë sister?  It’s a good question for quiz night down at the Olde Rupturede Ducke.  There was Charlotte and Emily, of course – the authors of Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights respectively.  But who wrote The Tenant of Wildfell Hall?  Tracy Brontë, perhaps?  Or Chelsea?  No – if you’re a literary

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St Patrick’s Chapel, Heysham

Ruins, Chapel, Heysham, stone graves

This is one of our friend Jeni’s favourite places and she said we should go; so of course we did. Heysham (pronounced ‘hee-shum’, not ‘hay-sham’) sits on Lancashire’s coast at the southern end of Morecambe Bay.  I knew of Heysham as a ferry port, offering services to the Isle of Man and Ireland, as well

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The Great Stone of Fourstones

Great Stone of Fourstones, boundary marker, Lancashire, Yorkshire

Up on the moors on the edge of the Forest of Bowland is a large, box-shaped, chunk of rock.  It sits just inside North Yorkshire on the border with Lancashire.  With characteristic English wit and imagination, it is known as the Big Stone, or the Great Stone of Fourstones – because apparently there used to be

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Wandering around Rufford Old Hall

Rufford Old Hall, Lancashire, National Trust

I found Rufford Old Hall rather like nouvelle cuisine; it looked interesting, but a little over-hyped.  It was good, but there should have been so much more to it and at the end I was left feeling vaguely dissatisfied.  I imagine the estate agent’s blurb something along the lines of: “Well-presented one-bedroom detached house in

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Imagine if George Washington had been Lancastrian

Washington House

There are two villages called Warton in Lancashire, both of them with connections across the Pond.  One, just west of Preston, is known for the airfield used by the United States Army Air Forces during World War Two.  Further north, the other Warton nudges the border with Cumbria.  And there, inside the medieval parish church

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Have a brief encounter at a railway station

The Brief Encounter experience

You can have a cup of tea (“the sugar’s in the spoon”), or more, sitting in the very spot where Laura and Alec fell in love.  Carnforth Railway Station was ‘Milford Junction’, location for much of the action in the classic 1945 film, Brief Encounter.  The war was still on, but the small Lancashire town

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