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'Witch's cottage' unearthed near Pendle Hill, Lancashire


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#1 spinney

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 08:40 AM

http://www.bbc.co.uk...ashire-16066680

#2 Micki

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 01:01 PM

I was just going to post this link. Fascinating stuff!!

#3 Aloe

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 01:57 PM

Fascinating.. thanks for sharing.
"The people who live in the Ozark country of Missouri and Arkansas were, until very recently, the most deliberately unprogressive people in the United States. Descended from pioneers who came West from the Southern Appalachians at the beginning of the nineteenth century, they made little contact with the outer world for more than a hundred years. They seem like foreigners to the average urban American, but nearly all of them come of British stock, and many families have lived in America since colonial days. Their material heirlooms are few, but like all isolated illiterates they have clung to the old songs and obsolete sayings and outworn customs of their ancestors." Ozark Magic and Folklore

#4 CelticGypsy

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 02:48 PM

Very interesting, thanks for finding and posting this. To say the least it is a facinating find, this cottage. But media begs me to believe it is an authentic Pendle Witch cottage. Call me an old bat, but I take a dim view slicing up the earth, and exposing this folks' home and hearth, to captilize on such a tragic event some 400 years ago.

Historians are now speculating that the well-preserved cottage could have belonged to one of the Pendle witches.

Then again it could not have. I take the sensationalism of the media with a grain of salt. :P

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#5 Autumn Moon

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 04:47 PM

Thanks for sharing Spinney.

I wonder why they think it belonged to one of the Pendle witches?

I have my doubts about the cat being the 'indicator' that it is a witches home, because it is well known that cats (after death) were entombed in a wall or placed in an attic to provide protection to the home and inhabitants and that this was done to many houses, not just witches homes. The home I lived in as a youth had two black cats laid sided by side under the porch and in front of the entrance to the house. The house was built about 1910 in Canada. This was dis covered when the front porch was torn down to put a full basement under the house.


#6 GardeningMommy

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 05:03 PM

Very interesting....

BUT, I am scratching my head over something. At the end of the article, it says that there was Victorian Era cookware found in the home. So, my questions are: other than a black cat mummy which may or may not indicate that it was a witch's home, why type of Pendle-era info are they expecting to find if others have lived in the home? And technically,the Victorian era ended in 1901, so assuming that the cottage was abandoned as of then, how in the world did it get completely covered by a mound in only 110 years? Granted, I'm from America and I don't know what the weather is like out that way, but it seems odd that that could happen, unless someone purposely buried it.


#7 Autumn Moon

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 05:08 PM

Very interesting....

BUT, I am scratching my head over something. At the end of the article, it says that there was Victorian Era cookware found in the home. So, my questions are: other than a black cat mummy which may or may not indicate that it was a witch's home, why type of Pendle-era info are they expecting to find if others have lived in the home? And technically,the Victorian era ended in 1901, so assuming that the cottage was abandoned as of then, how in the world did it get completely covered by a mound in only 110 years? Granted, I'm from America and I don't know what the weather is like out that way, but it seems odd that that could happen, unless someone purposely buried it.


Maybe I did not read the article carefully enough, but I thought it said the Victorian era stuff was found in the area, but not actually in the cottage? Maybe just my reading skills this morning, LOL


#8 GardeningMommy

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 05:22 PM

Maybe I did not read the article carefully enough, but I thought it said the Victorian era stuff was found in the area, but not actually in the cottage? Maybe just my reading skills this morning, LOL



It's at the very end... "The building also contains a 19th Century kitchen range, still in its original position. Many artefacts from the building's latter years, such as Victorian crockery, a tin bath and a bedstead, were discovered around the site."

I guess it's just an assumption, but it seems as though they are referring to the same building. Unless this site became a dumping ground for the locals over the years, it appears as though people lived there for many, many years.

But regardless, it is still an interesting find simply for the local history.


#9 Marabet

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 05:26 PM

Very interesting! Witch find or not. I just love this stuff.

I lasted for all of 5 seconds watching the "news" video on it, though.

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#10 Aloe

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 05:33 PM

They say clearly in the video that they have no evidence to conclusively determine that it is definitely a Pendle witch's home, that its a "stab in the dark" based on the location and the room that had the doorway sealed and the cat remains.

Still very interesting stuff, I love archaeology.

"The people who live in the Ozark country of Missouri and Arkansas were, until very recently, the most deliberately unprogressive people in the United States. Descended from pioneers who came West from the Southern Appalachians at the beginning of the nineteenth century, they made little contact with the outer world for more than a hundred years. They seem like foreigners to the average urban American, but nearly all of them come of British stock, and many families have lived in America since colonial days. Their material heirlooms are few, but like all isolated illiterates they have clung to the old songs and obsolete sayings and outworn customs of their ancestors." Ozark Magic and Folklore

#11 GardeningMommy

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 05:41 PM

They say clearly in the video that they have no evidence to conclusively determine that it is definitely a Pendle witch's home, that its a "stab in the dark" based on the location and the room that had the doorway sealed and the cat remains.

Still very interesting stuff, I love archaeology.



Thanks, Aloe! I did not even notice that that was a video and not just a photo. Oops :/


#12 spinney

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 05:57 PM

The romantic witch in me would love this to be a witches cottage but seriously doubt it. Imagine the sensationalism if this was unearthed in Salem?
I hope to follow this and see how old the building really is? Just because Victorian items were found there does not mean that is when it was built.
Maybe it was buried because of local superstition that a witch had lived there and thought it was cursed etc.
Spinneys mind wanders off romantically.


#13 Autumn Moon

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 07:00 PM

I agree, very fascinating find. l love archaeology.

I missed the 19th century oven in the read.

My browser would not play the vid, said I ran out of band width, but I think I have lots.


#14 Stacey

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Posted 09 December 2011 - 02:34 AM

In this story it claims the house belonged to Elizabeth Southerns. It is a fascinating find witch's house or no.
"The mind is not a book, to be opened at will and examined at leisure. Thoughts are not etched on the inside of skulls, to be perused by an invader. The mind is a complex and many-layered thing." Severus Snape - HP and the Order of the Phoenix

#15 Lela

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Posted 09 December 2011 - 02:45 PM

I agree, what an interesting find. However this quote from the link that Stacey provided makes makes me question the hype behind the whole thing:

"We are just a few months away from the 400th anniversary of the Pendle witch trials, and here we have an incredibly rare find, right in the heart of witching country," Mr Entwistle said.


How lucky are they to come across such a find so close the the 400th anniversary? Coincidence, perhaps? Just seems like someone is trying to cash in on a tourist industry. However if they can prove without a doubt that the cottage did indeed belong to said Pendle witch, how fascinating that would be.


#16 Autumn Moon

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Posted 09 December 2011 - 10:34 PM

What I don't understand is why was it covered by a mound of soil. I know that things do eventually sink and earth collects on top over many, many years, but 400 years is not that long. Did someone intentionally bury it, and why? Why to they think it belonged to one of the witches, do they have access to a land title to say who it belonged to at the time of the Pendle witch trial? So many unanswered questions.

Edited by Autumn Moon, 09 December 2011 - 10:34 PM.


#17 Tana

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Posted 11 December 2011 - 03:27 PM

Very interesting....

BUT, I am scratching my head over something. At the end of the article, it says that there was Victorian Era cookware found in the home. So, my questions are: other than a black cat mummy which may or may not indicate that it was a witch's home, why type of Pendle-era info are they expecting to find if others have lived in the home? And technically,the Victorian era ended in 1901, so assuming that the cottage was abandoned as of then, how in the world did it get completely covered by a mound in only 110 years? Granted, I'm from America and I don't know what the weather is like out that way, but it seems odd that that could happen, unless someone purposely buried it.



At the beginning of the article it states that the cottage was found near a reservoir. It is entirely possible that the mound over the cottage was earth excavated as part of the reservoir construction and dumped as a spoil heap.


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#18 Grymdycche

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Posted 11 December 2011 - 04:57 PM

I have great difficulty buying the notion that this was one of the Pendle witch's homes. Firstly, it's not the first time a mummified cat has been found in the wall of a 16th or 17th century home, and no one suggested that those occupants were witches, as I recall. The mummified cat is supposed to ward off evil. Why would a witch, supposedly of the diabolical persuasion, do such a thing? Didn't they all belong to the same "coven"? Serve the same "master"? Sounds more to me like a townsperson who was afraid of the Pendle witches, not someone who was one of them.
I smell tourist trap. Still cool though, of course.

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#19 Autumn Moon

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Posted 11 December 2011 - 07:17 PM

At the beginning of the article it states that the cottage was found near a reservoir. It is entirely possible that the mound over the cottage was earth excavated as part of the reservoir construction and dumped as a spoil heap.



Thanks Tana, that makes sense.


#20 CommonCrow

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 12:19 PM

The local waterboard have no built over the site. Personally having been to Barley and other local villages near by the other week, it seems to me it was the local tourist board claiming it was Malkin tower for publicity to attract tourists.  Everywhere you go in them little villages there witches all over.  Even the local garage has a witch as its logo lol.  Cant blame them though really.  Everyone needs abit of extra cash I guess.  There is still no evidence of where Malkin tower was, just rumours. Lovely area though I must say :)