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Unearthing the mystery of Malkin Tower

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UCLan’s archaeology students are digging for witchcraft evidence at the Pendle Witches site

Students from Canada, the United States and the UK have been digging for evidence of witchcraft at the site where the Pendle Witches met on the day they were arrested in 1612.

The archaeology students are excavating a field close to Malkin Tower Farm, on the hills above Blacko, which was possibly on the site of the home of 'Old Demdike'.

The dig is part of a community archaeology project being run by the Pendle Hill Landscape Partnership.

The international team is led by Professor Charles Orser, of Vanderbilt University in Nashville Tennessee, with support from the Archaeology Department at University of Central Lancashire, in Preston.

They are working at the site for five weeks and the focus is on finding out more about everyday life in the Pendle area in the 17th Century.

Rick Peterson, Senior Lecturer in archaeology at UCLan, said: "We have uncovered a great deal of evidence in the first three weeks of the project. In one area we have discovered a large amount of 17th and 18th century pottery. This is exciting but we have also found evidence for what may have been a timber building buried beneath 19th century fields."

Several pieces of flint, possibly from a nearby Iron Age settlement, have also been discovered. It is suspected these have been moved through ploughing and other farming activity.

There is a free Open Day on Wednesday 18 July where members of the public can visit the site to see what is going on and what has been found.

Tours will run at 11.00am, 12noon, 1.00pm and 2.00pm and include a shuttle bus from Nelson town centre. Each tour will last approximately one-and-a-half hours including transport. Please note that places are limited and booking is essential, there is no public parking at the farm.

For more information or to book your place please email volunteer@pendle-hill-lp or call 01200 420420.

Rachel Atkinson | 10 July 2018