Pendle Hill 01-02-2017 – Leader Rosemary

Pendle Hill 01-02-2017 – Leader Rosemary

Low cloud swathed the high ground of the area around Barley as 20 walkers prepared for the day’s outing.  Pendle Hill was invisible!  We followed the Pendle Way, a path with a gradual incline that led us around to the steps that lead up Pendle Hill.  Mary had volunteered to be back marker and we had a strategy of how to work together to keep the group safe.  The group went up the steps at their own pace and were quickly enveloped in the cloud.  Not being able to see much had some psychological benefits, as one couldn’t see how much further one had to climb!  At the top of the steps we all assembled and set off for the trig point keeping together in a tight group.  A photo was taken at the summit, but we were unsure whether it would ever appear on the website!

We continued our way down the bridleway in the cloud using the cairns as markers.  We eventually emerged from the cloud and gazed at the lovely views of the surrounding countryside, that included Lower Ogden Reservoir.  Our next challenge was a path in Fell Wood that involved a further ascent and yet more steps!  We all emerged fairly cheerfully and continued on our way dropping down to Newchurch in Pendle.  This village is very much associated with  the story of the Pendle Witches.  Alice Nutter was one of the 10 women who were hanged at Lancaster Castle in August 1612 following the witch trials.  She was unusual, as she was comparatively wealthy, being the widow of a tenant yeoman farmer.  The rest of those accused were all very poor.  We visited St Mary’s Church in the village and saw the family grave of the Nutter family.  It is unlikely this is the final resting place of Alice, as it is consecrated ground.  The herb Rosemary was in the graveyard – a shrub that symbolises remembrance.  Lunch was taken in the churchyard with faint noises of the children in the nearby school enjoying their lunchbreak.

Leaving the village, we walked along Black Bank, a ridge that gave us some great views of the area of Pendle.  Roughlee was the next village visited.  We paused at the statue of Alice Nutter, which was unveiled in 2012 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the Witch Trials.  Winter Jasmine climbed over the porches of one of the cottages in the village, and snowdrops grew in small clusters by the roadside.  As we continued walking in Alice Nutter’s home village, we passed Roughlee Old Hall, which is thought to be where she lived.  The stone inscription on the property is from 1536.  This lovely old building is now divided into apartments.  Roughlee has long been a popular village to visit, Graeme and John can both remember a permanent funfair being there, which was very popular.  Leaving the village, we followed the Pendle Way up the hillside and made our way through woodland adjacent to White Hough, the Outdoor Centre.  We then dropped down to the main path that took us back to Barley.

It was a day of different landscapes.  The weather was also varied – low cloud, light rain, and short episodes of sunshine.  It was a walk that showed us all the importance of looking after each other when weather conditions challenge us in the hills and mountains.  I would like to thank John, who was an able assistant throughout the walk, and Judy for taking the pictures.  Mary was a reliable back marker, who carried out the role extremely well.  Graeme’s car had a puncture in a front tyre, which delayed him leaving Barley with John and Dougie.  I hope they managed to set off without too much delay.  Tea and cakes were enjoyed at Shackleton’s Garden Centre in Chatburn.

(Write up Rosemary, pics Judy.  Route stats 8.80 miles , with 2,036ft (626m) total ascent.)

Slideshow below, but if you wish to see a static view of the pics all in one go, then click here.


  1. Great walk. Thanks Rosemary. Not been to the top of Pendle for about 40 years!! Pity the Mist in attendance.
    Some great views lower down the slopes though. 🙂

  2. Graeme A.

    Many thanks Rosemary for a great walk and write up. Excellent photos Judy.

    On a personal note:- many thanks to John for his kind assistance with my wheel change. The puncture has been repaired at the Tyre shop in Haslingden at the bargain price of £8.

  3. I’ve just thrown away my camera! Lyrical write up Rosemary.

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