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Lancaster Castle is a medieval castle in Lancashire. Historians are unclear about its origins, but may have been founded in the 11th century on the site of a Roman fort. In 1322 and 1389 the Scots invaded England, progressing as far as Lancaster and damaging the castle. It was not to see military action again until the English Civil War. The castle was first used as a prison in 1196. The Castle has housed prisoners of all ages and for a variety of crimes over the centuries. Out of 200 executions at Lancaster Castle, only 43 were for murder; other crimes included burglary, passing forged notes, robbery and cattle-stealing. Of those 200 executions, 131 are reputed to have been carried out by one hangman!
Until 2011 it was a fully functioning HM Prison and today it is a magnificent 'living' monument, offering a glimpse into England's often dark past.
The trials of the Pendle witches in 1612 are among the most famous witch trials in English history, and some of the best recorded of the 17th century. The twelve accused lived in the area around Pendle Hill in Lancashire, and were charged with the murders of ten people by the use of witchcraft. All but two were tried at Lancaster Assizes on 18–19 August 1612, along with the Samlesbury witches and others, in a series of trials that have become known as the Lancashire witch trials. Of the eleven who went to trial – nine women and two men – ten were found guilty and executed by hanging; one was found not guilty.
Does ‘Old Demdyke’ Still walk the Well Tower, the place where she is said to have died whilst awaiting her trial for witchcraft? Do the other Witches dwell here seeking revenge and retribution for their executions? Do any of the 200 men, women and children hung in the Castle still roam the Castle walls? Join us and find out!!
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