Step back in time to witch trials at Lancaster Castle

Lancaster Castle will host Lancashire Witches Weekend to remember the events which took place in 1612.
Lancaster Castle will host Lancashire Witches Weekend to remember the events which took place in 1612.

The 405th anniversary of the arrest, trial and execution of the Lancashire Witches will be commemorated in a new festival.

Lancaster Castle will host Lancashire Witches Weekend to remember the events surrounding the Pendle Witches in 1612.

The immersive events will take place on August 19 and 20 and have been organised by local theatre company Little Gargoyle Ltd.

“Having worked together with Lancaster Castle on many projects the idea of an interactive, entertaining and informative Witches Festival celebrating one of our most famous periods in history seemed like an opportunity not to be missed,” said Sophie Webster, festival organiser.

Other displays include a special exhibition of Carol Ann Duffy’s poem commissioned in 2012 and stonemason Alan Ward will be displaying his unique range of carved faces, heads and calligraphy created at the castle.

Visitors will be able to enjoy a bespoke Pendle Witch Walk, a character-led tour where audience members become the accused and explore the historic superstitions and practices of the time.

The Well Tower will also be opened up to visitors, giving participants an opportunity to hear Ol’ Demdike speak of the ‘evidence’ that placed her in this place of incarceration.

The three witches from Shakespeare’s Macbeth will be ‘toiling and troubling’ in the castle courtyard, and for the young (and the young at heart), there will also be broomstick training and a ‘Little Witch Show’ where younger visitors will be invited to help the little witch come up with a spell to catch a dragon.

This is a ticketed event so visitors are advised to pre-book. Many of the events are covered in the £1 entry fee (payable on the door) with additional charges for the optional Pendle Witches Walk (£8), broomstick training (£6) and visits to the Well Tower dungeon to meet Ol’Demdike (£3).

For details of events and to book call 01524 419486.