Pendle Witch House for Sale Aug 20, 2017 6:25:25 GMT -5
Post by Graveyardbride on Aug 20, 2017 6:25:25 GMT -5
Pendle Witch House for Sale
A house at the foot of the hill where two of the Pendle witches lived is on the market for £675,000 ($865,000). West Close Farm, on the edge of the village of Higham, near Burnley, was the home of Anne Whittle and her daughter Anne Redferne, who were both executed in 1612 after being found guilty of witchcraft at Lancaster Castle. At that time, causing harm through the use of magic was punishable by death.
James I had ascended the throne nine years earlier and one of his crusades was to outlaw witchcraft. But healing and practicing magic were lucrative professions for many. Two rival matriarchs were at the center of the Pendle Witch saga: Elizabeth Southern, known as Old Demdike, and Anne Whittle, called Old Chattox. Both were investigated for witchcraft – a case sparked when one of Old Demdike’s granddaughters, Alizon, put a curse on a hawker, John Law, for refusing to give her some pins. Law collapsed and was temporarily paralyzed, unable to speak. He later reported the incident and subsequent thereto, all manner of claims and counter-claims were made, the most serious of which was Alizon’s accusation that Old Chattox had murdered four men by witchcraft, including Alizon’s father. Another woman alleged that her brother had died after a disagreement with Redferne.
Much of the evidence was based on hearsay and conjecture – none of which would be admissible in a modern court. However, the two Annes were among 10 found guilty and sentenced to death.
West Close Farm is now owned by Wendy Handley, 52, who learned of its link with the Pendle Witches when she moved in 13 years ago. “A friend of my father’s, a local policeman and a keen amateur historian, told us that witchcraft was rife around here and revealed that the house was at the center of the saga,” she says. Mrs. Handley and her late husband, Spike, spent £60,000 improving the cottage over the years and, like all good renovations, it is almost impossible to see the join. You can still imagine Old Chattox and her daughter making potions in the ancient-looking farmhouse kitchen. A once-hidden stone staircase, which was found boarded up in the kitchen by the previous owners, adds to the sense of antiquity.
There is a comfortable sitting room with sturdy oak floors and this leads through to a second reception room and conservatory, which overlooks open countryside. Upstairs there is a family bathroom and four bedrooms – the master bedroom has an en suite shower.
The house comes with three acres, a Jacuzzi, stables and outbuildings, where Wendy used to keep horses before Spike became ill. There is also a little stream running across the land.
The story of the witches still brings a number of visitors to Pendle Hill every Halloween and West Close Farm featured in a film about the case several years ago. The Handleys plan to downsize and move to Spain, but, Wendy admits: “I want to read and find out more about the history of the house before I hand over the keys and put it behind me.”
Source: Fred Redwood, The Mail on Sunday, July 8, 2017.