A GIANT artwork that marks the 400th anniversary of the Pendle
witch-trials is to go ahead, despite objections from the Bishop of
Burnley, the Rt Revd John Goddard.
The Bishop had expressed concern about celebrating the date of
the "unjust" trials in August 1612. "Do we want the area to be
known for the injustice and oppression of perhaps elderly women?"
he said. "Some may see it as fun, but there is a fear in my mind we
can become immune to dreadful things that happen in history if we
allow them to be treated too lightheartedly."
His comments persuaded Pendle Council to halt its sponsorship of
the event, but now the local brewery, Moorhouse's, has stepped in
with funding for the artist Philippe Handford to paint the date
1612 in 500-foot-tall numerals on Pendle Hill.
In the trials, a dozen people - including two men - were charged
with ten murders by witchcraft. Ten were hanged, one died in
prison, and one was cleared.
Mr Handford said: "I think it will make people investigate what
happened 400 years ago, and the local injustice that took
A spokesman for the brewery said: "The image should be
spectacular. Philippe has put a great deal into ensuring that the
image will have maximum impact but leave no lasting effect."
A statue of one of the Pendle witches, Alice Nutter, has been
unveiled in her home village of Roughlee.