Lancaster Castle is to host a Lancashire Witches Weekend on the 19th and 20th of August 2017, with a series of immersive events and entertainment imagineered by local theatre company Little Gargoyle Ltd. Commemorating the 405th anniversary of the arrest, trial and execution of the Lancashire Witches in 1612, the Festival includes a range of events and entertainment for visitors of all ages.
Visitors will be able to enjoy a bespoke Pendle Witch Walk, a character-led walk where audience members become the accused and explore the historic superstitions and practices of the time. The Well Tower will also be opened up to visitors, giving participants an opportunity to hear Ol’ Demdike speak of the ‘evidence’ that placed her in this place of incarceration. The three witches from Shakespeare’s Macbeth will be ‘toiling and troubling‘ in the Castle courtyard, and for the young (and the young at heart), there will also be broomstick training and a Little Witch Show where younger visitors will be invited to help the little witch come up with a spell to catch a dragon.
Sophie Webster, festival organiser and director of Little Gargoyle Ltd, believes there will be something for everyone in this celebration of one of the darkest periods in Lancaster Castle’s rich history. “Our brief was to create family-friendly event with accessible history,” she said. “Having worked together with Lancaster Castle on many projects including children’s workshops, and the bespoke charity event ‘Nightmare on A-Wing’, the idea of an interactive, entertaining and informative
Witches Festival celebrating one of our most famous periods in history seemed like an opportunity not to be missed. There is literally something for everyone and I would urge local families to come along.”
Other displays, exhibitions and visitor attractions organised as part of the festival will include a special exhibition of Carol Ann Duffy’s poem commissioned in 2012 as part of the 400th anniversary of the Lancashire witches and the latest visual representation of the story from PhD student and artist Alisa Reed. Stonemason Alan Ward will be displaying his unique range of carved faces, heads and calligraphy created at the Castle and local charityCorio Raptor will be bringing their birds of prey to the courtyard.
This is a ticketed event so visitors are advised to pre-book. Many of the events are covered in the £1 entry fee (payable on the door) with additional charges for the optional Pendle Witches Walk (£8.00), broomstick training (£6) and visits to the Well Tower dungeon to meet Ol’ Demdike (£3.00). For full details of events and to book tickets please visit www.lancashirewitches.co.uk.or call 01524 419486.