Witch trials project given 100,000

Four hundred years on from the date in which ten individuals were found guilty of death or harm by witchcraft and hanged, the tale has caught many imaginations and the sites, such as Pendle Hill where many of the supposed witches lived, and Gallows Hill in Lancaster, are set to become hot tourist destinations.

Now Green Close Studios, operated by Sue and Pete Flowers, has been awarded the six-figure sum to run a series of events commemorating the trials.

Initiatives include a long-distance walk based on the route the witches took from Pendle to Lancaster and Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy has been commissioned to write a piece inspired by the events.

The studio has enlisted photographers and artists to create site specific works along the route. In addition a community quilt is being created and there will be historical talks and educational work with schools in Padiham and Slaidburn.

Green Close Studios is a contemporary arts organisation pioneering rural regeneration by applying international arts development to the rural context. Its stated mission is to develop an awareness of
cultural diversity and to empower rural communities and their youngsters through creative project development, artistic residencies, workshops and regular collaborations with more than 50 professional international freelance artists.

“This is the culmination of a lot of previous work. We are trying to address social issues, the role of the outsider, how history can be very relevant today,” said the couple.

“Our schools programme is particularly looking at attitudes and outsiders, how easy it is to judge
people.”