Come along and bring your friends this Saturday when Andrea Smith takes us on a tour of the area and the heritage that we walk or drive past frequently without noticing it is there.

Barrowford has been a centre for textile production since at least the 16th century when a fulling mill is recorded as being in the village. Until the late 18th century, the manufacture of woollen cloth was the primary industry, but in 1780 the fulling mill was rebuilt by Abraham Hargreaves as a cotton mill.

Attribution: Journal of Victorian Culture’ web site. Courtesy of Stephen Irwin.

Of course the ford can still be clearly seen today, the origins of the ‘Barrow’ part of the name remain hazy,  without proof it can only be conjectured  that a barrow existed here.  We can however see solid evidence of the travel routes in these parts in the Toll House at the end of the bridge,this is situated on what was the Marsden to Gisburn to Long Preston turnpike.    Earlier travellers would have used the packhorse bridge in Higherford, still in use for todays pedestrians.   The Leeds and Liverpool canal close by was used to transport cotton made locally across to Liverpool and the coal that was transported was used to power the looms of Lancashire and beyond.  The textile history of Lancashire is part of most people’s family history locally, not many families would not have had a relative connected to the cotton industry.  Lancashire can hold its head high as a major powerhouse of the Industrial Revolution.

A fulling mill was recorded in Barrowford in the 16th century  and until the late 18th century, the manufacture of woollen cloth was the primary industry, but in 1780 the fulling mill was rebuilt by Abraham Hargreaves as a cotton mill.

A water wheel was powered by water drawn off the weir at Pendle Water.  The mill reservoir is now an ornamental pond in the park and nearby the children’s playground the remains of the mill can still be seen.  Many handloom weavers cottages can be seen along the main road, production of  woven cotton moved from here to massive weaving sheds after the introduction of power looms in the 1820’s. 

Heavy reliance on the cotton trade for employment meant that this area would have been badly affected by the cotton famine during the American Civil War.   The local history during this time will be the subject of our talk on November 9th by Steve Irwin.

Andrea will point out lots of ‘hidden’ features that are actually in plain sight so come along and join us.

You might want to enjoy a hearty lunch or a bowl of soup in the cafe before starting out.

We will meet at 2pm outside the Barn at PHC,  wear comfortable shoes and be dressed for the weather.  If there is heavy rain contact 07779506499 to check if the walk is continuing.

Free to all

Parking in the Colne Rd. Car Park: Free for the first hour, then 50p per hour thereafter, pay on exit.

Banner Image:  A ‘Weavers Walk’ around Nelson. Attribution: A Hardman


The impact of the the Cotton Famine or Cotton Panic between 1861-1865 in Lancashire Mill towns was harsh.  It was the result of a ‘perfect storm’ caused by over production in the mills at a time of contracting world markets, at the same time baled cotton imports were in short supply due to the American Civil War and speculators buying up stock for storage against better economic times.  This led to a rise of several hundred per cent in the price of raw cotton.

Factory owners were forced to make people redundant and this led to a workforce that had been one of the most prosperous in Britain becoming the most impoverished. Local relief committees set up soup kitchens and granted direct aid. The poorest applied for relief under the Poor Laws and Poor Law Unions this much needed relief lasted until around 1864 when cotton imports were restored. By this time some towns had diversified and thousands of workers were said to have emigrated. It seems that due to the Public Works Act of 1864 local authorities were empowered to borrow money for cleaning rivers, rebuilding sewage systems, landscaping parks and resurfacing roads and probably water treatment works and reservoirs. Some unemployed workers must have found employment in these public ventures.

Soup Kitchen ticket. Courtesy of Blackburn Library, ‘Cotton Town’ local history web site

Prior to this for many decades cotton was Britain’s biggest import and a dominant force in the economy of the Lancashire cotton industry which had experienced the advent of the Industrial Revolution which brought a  major change in work patterns of Lancashire folk.  From small cottage industries they shifted to factory based production lines which harnessed their labour and time and governed their living and social conditions. This was when the  term ‘working class’ came into force.

Attribution: Journal of Victorian Culture’ web site. Courtesy of Stephen Irwin.
The USS San Jacinto stopping the British ship The Trent

Steve Irwin is the Education Officer at Blackburn Museum and is well placed to talk about and engage our interest in this fascinating subject, we are pleased that he is able to come and deliver this talk that was postponed last year.

Re Covid: Feel free to wear a mask, we try to ensure a supply of fresh air.   If in doubt please contact

Admission:  Members  £3 50p   Non members  £4 50p

Colne Rd. Car park: 50p for first two hours, then 50p per hour, pay on exit

Banner Image: Artists impression of the inside of  a mill workers home.




Meet outside Higham Village Hall at 2pm.

Remains of an earth bank nr. Acresbrook Rd. Higham. Aug. 21. Attribution: I Rowley

Come suited and booted for the weather.  Terrain may be rough and boggy in places underfoot. Some stiles. Some ascent/descent.

We will continue our investigation of this areas footpaths, holloways and boundaries.

Contact for further information, ring 07779506499 if you are unsure re the weather on the day.

On the last day of Heritage Open Days Norman Mitchell will take us on a tour of the area where Jonas Moore renowned as the Father of Time lived as a child.

He was a mathematician, surveyor and a driving force behind the establishment of the Royal Observatory at Greenwhich.  He was born and grew up at Higher White Lee Farm and attended Burnley Grammar School.  His family were connected to the Pendle Witches after ‘Old Demdike’ allegedly bewitched his elder brother John to death.

Sir Jonas Moore. Line engraving by T. Cross, 1650, after H. Stone. Courtesy of Wellcome Images

It is refreshing to know that a lad from ‘oop north used his intelligence for the benefit of society and reached such a respected position in those times in London where he rubbed shoulders with the ‘great and the good’.  He was a friend of Christopher Wren and Robert Hooke, he wined and dined with Samuel Pepys who hung a map of Moores’ on his wall and also counted Moore as a ‘worthy friend’.    Moores chief patron was James, Duke of York brother to Charles 11.  He seemed to have achieved many things in his life and published his book Arithmetick in 1650, during the founding of the Observatory he paid for equipment out of his own pocket.  Along with his son he is buried in the Tower of London.

Distance: 4 miles, descending into Sabden Fold and returning. The pace will be slow.   Terrain may be boggy in places, could be rough grass.  Some stiles.

Come suited and booted for whatever the weather throws at us.   Packed lunch.

Everyone welcome to what should be a very interesting walk about a very little known local figure.

Contact for further info.  If uncertain on the day re the weather contact 07779506499.

Donations welcome.     Parking behind the Village Hall and roadside parking.

Banner Image: Dean Farm in the ‘Hidden Valley’ near Sabden. Attribution: John Darch

We intend to have a very swift AGM followed by a talk by John Miller long associated with the Heritage Centre who will tell us about the history of what has been said to be an outstanding Heritage Garden. There are trees, plants, flowers, fruit and vegetables being grown now that would have been growing there in the early days of the buildings.

Designed as a kitchen garden in the late 18th century and lovingly restored in the 1980s it’s now maintained by the centre’s own gardeners, ably supported by volunteers some of them from the Friends (but they always need more!).  Designed and planted with traditional varieties it’s a wonderful opportunity to work in such historic surroundings so come along and volunteer.

Red Flowering Broad Beans. Attribution: Emma Walker

Originally this would have been a kitchen garden with herbs, fruit trees, vegetables and maybe even a few scented flowers to help mask the unpleasant smells in a less sanitary world than we now live in.  At about this time the house was extended and updated meaning that even in cold weather the garden could be enjoyed through the new sash windows.

The garden walls are critical to its success acting as wind breaks and storage heaters to protect the tender fruit trees as well as keeping unwelcome visitors (both human and animal) from entering.

Roses in Pendle Heritage Centre Garden. Attribution: Emma Walker

The current garden is newly created in an eighteenth century style combining ‘the useful with the sweet – the profitable with the pleasant…’, unlike the often utilitarian kitchen gardens of today.

Salads were extremely popular at this time but also consider that the mistress of the house acted as doctor, nurse, chemist and perfumier in the days before patent medicines and mass produced products!  She made mouthwashes, medicines, disinfectants, perfumes and cosmetics as well as presiding over the kitchen.  In the still room she  prepared the ingredients taken from roots, skins, leaves and flowers before drying and distilling them.

Admission: Free to all and includes light refreshments.

Car Parking: Free for the first hour then 50p per hour.


We will be pleased to welcome one and all, old and new faces to our first talk of 2021 and after an absence of eighteen months. It will be a pleasure to welcome Harold back to the Friends and listen to his take on these subjects and how they related to life in north east Lancashire.

15yr old Mona at a cotton mill in Lancashire. 1945. Public Domain



Members free for this event in recognition of the support given to us during lockdown.   Non Members a reduced fee of £3 50.

Car Parking: Don’t forget, free for the first hour then 50p per hour thereafter.  (One of the cheapest in the area).

The Garden Tea Room will be open too if you fancy a spot of lunch before the talk.

Banner Image: An assortment of dry nasal snuff. Attribution: Hellahulla

Come and join us for a pleasant stroll around the Higham area as we tread where others have trod, hundreds of years ago. From Kiln Lane across to Foxen Dole Lane taking in a laithe farmhouse along the way and looking at the significance of various tracks and boundaries, some of which may go back to mediaeval times. Come suited and booted for the weather.

Old Ditch or hollow way Higham. 2021.
Attribution: I Rowley

Approximately 2miles, some stiles. May be uneven underfoot, long grass. No major hazards. Starting from Kiln Lane.

Meet 2pm        Park at or behind the Village Hall.

All types of archaeologists, interested people and non members welcome.

We aim to look at the former vaccary of West Close situated to the south of Higham. This forms part of our research to look at the vaccaries in Higham and also locate The Fence, which is where the deer were located until the early part of the sixteenth century.

We hope that you will be able to join us.

Walk Leader: Ian Rowley

Map of Higham Area. Courtesy of D Taylor

For further information contact If you are not sure re the weather contact 07779506499.

Banner image:  Higham Area.   Attribution: I Rowley

We are pleased that one of our patron’s Bobby Elliott – a local lad, born and bred in Burnley, will be entertaining an audience in the Barn at Pendle Heritage Centre on Saturday 13th November at 7 30pm.

Bobby Elliott at Apple Studios London. Courtesy of B.Elliott

So come along for a slice of life in the 60’s with our local legend who was born and bred in Burnley.  We’ll all go tripping down memory lane.

We can’t promise Carousels but you will be able to Look Through any Window and we hope that The Air that (we) Breathe is sweet.   At the end of the night we will have to Stop, Stop, Stop and some of us might be queuing at the Bus Stop.

This is our first fund raising event for 2021, we will be pleased too see you, bring a friend along.

Tickets £15 with  Cheese and Wine supper.   Bar available.

Contact re ticket  enquiries. Limited number of tickets.

Car parking on the Colne Rd. car park, free for first hour then 50p per hour thereafter, pay on exit.

This group have been busy working away in many parts of the garden.   Weeding, planting, tidying.  We meet weekly and work alongside Pendle Heritage staff Peter and Emma. They have both worked hard over the winter making raised beds, improving the woodland walk, removing trees and planting up ready for summer.

Everyone is welcome to come along and join in the fun. Just two hours on a Wednesday morning on a regular basis can make all the difference for you and to the garden.   If you can’t make that day/time Emma will be pleased to see what best suits you.

Red Flowering Broad Beans. Attribution: Emma Walker

Why is gardening good for you?

It can help to keep your limbs and joints supple, particularly boosting hand strength, its good exercise for your heart, its good for creating a sense of calm and wellbeing which will make you feel more content.   It will give you a boost of Vitamin D.   And by having a good laugh with fellow volunteers can help to reduce stress.   What’s not to like about it?  And could it be said that gardens are good for the soul?

Don’t forget you can relax in the cafe afterwards with a cup of tea or soup or sandwiches or whatever delicious food is on offer.

Banner Image:Forsythia. Attribution:Rdsmith4.


Most of us will by now have experienced the the joys of vaccination.. who would have thought we would be so pleased!. We have had good weather, started a programme of walks and are looking forward to more walks and activities as we reach the end of spring and summer returns and the year progresses.

We are still hoping that in the autumn speakers who we booked last year or newer speakers can still entertain us with various aspects of our rich heritage all in keeping with the new norm of government guidelines.

Weaving history.
Attribution: A Hardman

You may remember we had booked Roger Martlew to talk about the Celtic Cowboys, the cattle ranchers of Iron Age Britain. Lancashire Wildlife Trust were coming to talk about their work. Peter and Barbara Snape were bringing us Cotton Town Chronicles with music and poetry which fitted nicely with Stephen Irwin’s talk on the Cotton Famine. A talk on Mediaeval Bridges by Chris Hudson was also in the pipeline along with Andrea Smith’s Pendle in Particular. At Christmas we would have had the joy of listening to Sue Allonby’s Christmassy Tales.

Barbara and Peter Snape of Cotton Town Chronicles. Attribution: P Snape

It looks very much like our Residential Trip to Northumberland will take place now in Spring 2022, however, perhaps the social situation will allow us to have a day trip in late Autumn. . Our trip to the Himalayan Gardens and Sculpture Park near Ripon has also been rearranged for next Spring when the azaleas will be at their best.

PAG have made a start on the Roman Road Project in walking over the site of the putative road along the public footpaths to familiarise themselves with the topography. Further activities including in depth surveys are planned. The group is working in tandem with the support of Jayne Ashe from Pendle Hill Landscape Partnership (PHLP). If you are an armchair archaeologist look no further, we have plenty of research to be going on with contact PAG or to be precise a member of PAG has found what may be significant lumps and bumps around the the Higham Area which the group are looking forward to explore, watch this space. We also still have the visit to Ighten Hill Manor in our back pocket.

As you know everything depends on the nature of the pandemic and government guidelines and although we still face the unknown, we know more about the unknown than at this time last year.

Prehistory Study Day. 2019 Speakers from left, Mike Woods, Kevin Grice, Rick Peterson, Sam Walsh, Catherine Rousseau- Jones and Chair Gayle Wray. Attribution: A Hardman

We hope to see you all again at one socially distanced event or another, maybe in the cafe as Pendle Heritage Centre is set to open on May 17th, I am sure you would love someone else to cook you a good meal and equally they will appreciate your badly needed custom. Don’t forget the Friends Used Book stall – through the shop to the bottom of the stairs.

We have asked for someone to host Zoom meetings and we still hope that somebody will come forward to help us in this area, just in case we have to resort to Zoom meetings in the Autumn.

Also, is there anybody out there who enjoys totting up columns of figures and handling accounts? as we are still on the look out for a Treasurer. Applicants please form a queue and get in touch with

Banner Image: Watching the wall of the Heritage Garden being lime mortared at our Summer Event in 2019.  Attribution: Alan Hardman

17th May –  2pm

Come along with us as we visit the eastern side of this mysterious landscape. Our first visit was certainly an eye opener and surely many people can’t have seen  double parralell and curved ditches, an apparent dam/bridge and more!

Join us as we further explore this intriguing area.

Contact info@foph to book a place. Further information later.

Banner Image: Higham Area. Spring 21. Attribution: Ian Rowley

 Eric Knowles

Eric is looking forward to visiting family who live locally and when he does as he is  very much looking forward to visiting the cafe in the Heritage Centre. It’s always nice to receive his messages of support.  As most of you will know Eric is a local lad, born and bred in Nelson.  He is an expert in his chosen field of glass and ceramics and many of you will be familiar with him as a presenter on the Antiques Road Show, Bargain Hunt and other programmes.

Bobby Elliot with the Friends in the Heritage Garden

Bobby Elliot

A member of the iconic rock band, The Hollies. Bobby met with our secretary Jean Hardman last Autumn shortly after his book was published.  We hope to see It Ain’t Heavy, It’s My Story: The Autobiography of Bobby Elliott for sale in the Heritage Centre shop before long.   Bobby has six decades worth of musical anecdotes.   Sadly it may be a while before we see him in person as he has a very busy nationwide tour later this year. We wish him good luck for the tour.

Banner Image: Bobby in the Heritage Garden with Jean Hardman, Secretary. Attribution: Alan Hardman

Well what a past twelve months this has been, however,  we have we the joys of anticipation – of vaccines, of good weather and possibly meeting up at some point this year. Spring  really is around the corner, the snowdrops are out, cyclamen too, the daffodils are pushing up, the mornings and evenings are lighter  and  a hint of  birdsong can be heard and as soon as we are able we will provide members and guests with things to do.

Blackbird. Attribution:nottsexminer

We have asked for someone to host Zoom meetings and we hope that somebody will come forward to help us in this, so speakers who we booked last year or newer speakers can still entertain us with various aspects of our rich heritage.

You may remember we had booked Roger Martlew to talk about the Celtic Cowboys, the  cattle ranchers of Iron Age Britain.  Lancashire Wildlife Trust were coming to talk about their work.  Peter and Barbara Snape were bringing us Cotton Town Chronicles with music and poetry which fitted nicely with Stephen Irwin’s talk on the Cotton Famine.    A talk on Mediaeval Bridges by Chris Hudson was also in the pipeline along with Andrea Smith’s Pendle in Particular. At christmas we would have had the joy of listening to Sue Allonby’s Christmassy Tales.

Forsythia. Attribution: Rdsmith4

We still hope to bring you  some of these via Zoom or when we can open up the Barn  for talks again.   It looks very much like our Residential Trip to Northumberland will take place now in Spring 2022, however, perhaps the social situation  will allow us to have a day trip in late Autumn.   As you know everything is on hold and depends on government guidelines. Our trip to the Himalayan Gardens and Sculpture Park near Ripon has also been rearranged for next Spring when the azaleas will be at their best.

As soon as they are able the the archaelogy group – PAG will take people in small groups to the site of Ightenhill Manor house to discuss and compare David Taylor’s work on the Manor house and the putative stabling arrangements and Ian Rowley’s work on the fields near Filly Close.   The group also want to introduce people to surveying and recording the Roman Road from Downham to the A 682 to Gisburn.

Although we still face the unknown, hope and spring is eternal… and just around the corner.

Blackbird’s nest.
Attribution: Manyman

Banner Image: Quote from Patience Strong, Welsh primroses Public Domain.



Friends of Pendle Heritage Annual General Meeting 2020

Dear Member,

Due to the current Covid-19 situation in Pendle, the present social distancing measures and future uncertainty we are taking the unusual step of asking you to vote via email or by postal ballot as you would have done had you attended the AGM in person. The Charity Commission has advised that we are able to do this and have set a date of 30 September 2020 for AGMs to be held,

There are two items to vote on:

1. The Trustees
All the present Trustees have agreed to submit themselves for re-election and in the posts that they currently hold. Two Trustees, Dawn Beaumont and Barbara Smith, resigned during the year leaving vacant positions. However, all the trusteeships are open for election. Presently the positions are held by:
Chair: Gayle Wray
Secretary: Jean Hardman
Treasurer: Vacant post
Trustee: Sue Wilkinson
Trustee: Pam Worrell
Trustee: Vacant post

The above trustees have agreed to serve another term if elected

2. Changes in our Constitution
When we became a CIO (Charitable Incorporated Organisation) last year a new Constitution was set up. We now need to amend this to allow the voting system to be more manageable, and to correct a few clerical errors.

You need to read:
1. The Changes to the Constitution. We will send you a link on request.
2. The present Constitution. (FoPH CIO Constitution) available on our website is quite dry and dusty reading however, the document in 1 above sets out the facts changes and page numbers clearly.

The Trustees have come to an agreement about the required change and are giving notice that the present Trustees and those nominated will meet and hold a de facto AGM and consider your voting responses and implement your decisions on or around Monday 28th September 2020.

Voting by email only
Please put your full name in the message box then TYPE EACH OF THESE QUESTIONS OUT FOLLOWED BY YES OR NO

1 The present trustees to remain in position
2 The Changes in the Constitution to be enacted

Then send to: The Scrutineers          

Voting by post only
Complete the voting slip below and place in an envelope with your name and signature and nothing else on the ENVELOPE.
Put in another envelope and address to The Scrutineers, FoPH Ballot,
18 Dyneley Ave. Cliviger, Burnley BB10 4JD.

As our mail shots cost us …… we are asking you to post this back to the scrutineers. To arrive on or before Friday 25th September 2020

Only when you have voted can we contact the Charity Commission and apply to change the Constitution.
After the AGM has been held we will email the Trustees’ Report and the minutes of the meeting to you. For people not on e mail these will be available at the first talk that we can hold according to government guidelines.

Chair Gayle Wray            August 2020

Tear off slip ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Friends of Pendle Heritage Postal Ballot September 2020

I agree to vote for the present trustees to remain in position Yes No (please circle or tick)

I agree to the proposed changes In the constitution of the Friends of Pendle Heritage

Yes No

Signed ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… Date …… September 2020

Come along for an evening that is connected on many levels to our local lives and definitely those of our ancestors. Cotton Town Chronicles is a folk song based presentation by Peter and  Barbara Snape.  With its multi-media format, the presentation provides an introduction to life during the age when cotton and coal were king.

Barbara and Peter Snape of Cotton Town Chronicles. Attribution: P Snape

It is a journey in which key moments of social history provide the context for the song to take centre stage. Each song tells a story – it’s Grease, Grit and Grime, Mills, Mines and Machinery: poverty, struggle, love, humanity and the ability to look on the bright side of life. It is  a look at Lancashire Life during this time period through a different lens, it is a social history synopsis.

A supper of Lancashire Hotpot – what else – will be provided.

Admission price to be confirmed.

Don’t forget to pay on exit from the car park on Colne Rd.

Come and enjoy a bit of pre Christmas storytelling. Both Christmas and the Winter Solstice have long been a time to sit round the hearth sharing old tales, so prepare to have your spine chilled and your heart warmed in turn, with some seasonal stories.  We are pleased that Sue can join us this year after the last years event was postponed.

Sue Allonby, Storyteller.
Attribution: S Allonby

Sue Allonby has had a lifelong love of traditional stories and tales, beginning with those told to her as a small child by her grandparents. She collects books of all kinds of stories, and of folklore and traditions, but prefers collecting aurally.

She has worked as a teacher in Lancashire, in High Schools for nine years and in Primary Schools for thirteen years, and was a school librarian for eight years, during which time she developed a love of telling stories as well as reading them.

A visit to the Scottish Storytelling Centre in 2008 led to her decision to devote more time to storytelling, and in 2010 she completed the “Now of Storytelling” thirteen week course at Emerson College, Sussex.

As well as storytelling, Sue loves hill-walking and exploring the countryside by foot and bicycle. She draws much of the inspiration for her telling from her local landscapes of Pendle Hill, the Pennines, the Ribble Valley and the Yorkshire Dales. She has also travelled extensively around the world, always with her ears open for a good story!

Ready to Travel.
Attribution: Sue Allonby


Don’t forget to pay on exit from the car park on Colne Rd.



Latest news from Emma in the Heritage Garden.

The spring display as well as fruit blossom have been and gone already. It has been a good year for the veg patch so far, much better than this time last year when the weather had been good for nothing but slugs. I have some nice crimson flowered broad beans coming and the peas are also growing well.

Roses in Pendle Heritage Centre Garden. Attribution: Emma Walker
At the moment the cornflowers are the main highlight though it is a bit of an intermittent time. The Roses should be out fully in the next few weeks. The delphinium in the kitchen garden is also full of bud.
Keep watching this space for more news and hopefully before long we may be able to see the garden for ourselves.

All images attributed to Emma Walker.

Roses in Pendle Heritage Centre Garden. Attribution: Emma Walker

Due to the uncertainty surrounding the current epidemic, we are sorry to postpone this event and we hope that Roger will join us at a future date.


Dr Roger Martlew is a well known and extremely well experienced archeologist, historian, author and editor. He taught archaeology for sixteen years at Leeds University and we hope that he will enlighten our understanding of the Celts or Iron Age population in northern England.

Roger writes that ecent discoveries are adding detail and complexity to our understanding of the Iron Age and “native” Romano-British inhabitants of northern England. We have moved on a long way from the late 1950s view (from southern England) of “Celtic cow-boys”, but there are still big gaps in our knowledge and much that awaits discovery. Following many years of investigation in Upper Wharfedale, Dr Roger Martlew will highlight the major achievements of recent research and consider the questions that remain. The picture shows a statue of Ambiorix, a Belgian chieftain, and represents a romantic view of Iron Age Celts at the dawn of History that provokes a wide-ranging discussion.

Statue of Ambiorix. A romantic view of a Belgian Chieftan. Courtesty: R. Martlew
An IA unit from Norfolk of Ece(n) Iceni Celtic Coin. Attribution:2007 Oxford University and Portable Antiquities Scheme

Who were these …”Celtic cowboys and shepherds footloose and unpredicatable moving with their animals over rough pasture and moorland” (Piggot S. 1958)? And how do we interpret evidence from the past? Is the term Celtic a problematic term?  Lots of questions and we are looking forward to Roger enlightening us on the archaeology, art and cultural identity of these people who seem very familiar to us, but are they?.

However, did the Celts arise out of the mists of Brittannia or the Pretannic Isles or did they come from further afield?  Where did they live? How did they live and die and where is the evidence for this?

The earliest known mentions of the Celts were by writers such as Herodotus, Plato, Aristotle, Xenophon and somebody we all know… Julius Caesar who also wrote about Celtic migrations and wrote of the “..inlanders, most do not sow corn, but live on milk and flesh and clothe themselves in skins”.

Come along to the first talk of the 2020/21 season and enlarge your understanding of this fascinating subject.

Government Guidelines:  We very much hope that the talk is allowed to go ahead. Further information will be published on our site regarding  social distancing and other behaviours that we need to adhere to.  If in doubt please contact

Banner Image: We don’t want to give anything away but this tantalising image of the Hochdorf Chieftan’s Grave, Germany about 530 BC was too good to miss.   This chap is known as the Tutankhamun of the Celts. The reconstruction in the museum is near to the location of the original grave. Attribution: jnn95.  He is also wearing fabulous gold trimmed shoes.


It will come as no surprise to you that sadly, talks and events that are being run by the Friends and Pendle Archaeolgy Group are cancelled for the next twelve weeks.  We did hope that this weeks talk would go ahead but in the light of Government  advice this evening we decided that it would be safer to cancel the event.

Keep watching our website or contact for further information and we will be in touch with you if there are any changes.

We hope that you and yours stay well and safe.

Nestled in the West Yorkshire countryside at Grewelthorpe near Ripon,  this rare gem offers those of us interested in beautiful gardens a rare day out.

The landscape comprises of 45 acres, a beautiful valley with breathtaking views across the park, gardens, an arboretum,  scenic woodland walks and  is  enhanced by three lakes and has a Pagoda, Summerhouse, Himalayan Shelter, Contemplation Circle and Norse Hut. What more could you ask?

Widely considered to have the North’s largest collection of rhododendrons, azaleas and magnolias, there are nearly 20,000 plants including some 1,400 rhododendron varieties, 250 azalea varieties and 150 different magnolias. An exciting primula meadow enriches the stunning lakeside walks and the mass plantings of glorious hybrids and drifts of spring bulbs, provide fantastic seasonal interest.

Azalea in Hakgaia Botanical Garden Sri Lanka. Attribution:Sancheevis

Discover over 80 striking contemporary sculptures in the open-air gallery. From a bronze leopard stalking a roe deer, to a giant floating magnolia and a mini stone henge there is something for everyone to enjoy. Each sculpture has been chosen and positioned within the landscape in a way that relates to everything around them; the weather, light, vegetation and the close and long-distance views. It is an active relationship, with each sculpture focusing, intensifying and animating its environment.

Although this will be a lovely place to visit at any time of year, May is the prime time for azalea, rhododendron and primula displays.

We aim to set off at 9 30am in Padiham picking up at 9 45am in Barrowford. There is a Tea Room which serves sandwiches and hot lunches and surely there must be cream scones?    It’s perfectly acceptable to take your own packed lunch. There are some steep areas in places and suitable footwear is advised. Be ready for whatever the weather may throw at us, remember the “Cast not a clout ’til May is out” that our grandparents used to say!

Azalea. Attribution: Eurico Zimbres

We can offer a coach trip to Ripon only, where you can spend more than one day exploring this lovely city, the fourth smallest in the country. With a Cathedral going back to mediaeval times, an ancient marketplace,  a hornblower who ‘sets the watch’ as in every night for the past 1100 years, Georgian and mediaeval buildings, and enough museums to satisfy the most ardent visitor.  Check out the ticket prices. You will be dropped off  about 11am and the coach will pick you up on the return journey about 4 15 pm.

Cost: £21.00 including coach.    Ripon only by coach £10.50. Booking essential

To book and for further info please contact Gayle Wray

For the gardens and sculpture park:

Well spring has sprung and we’re on our way to summer, it would be good to see a good bunch of people helping  Andrea, Peter and Emma make the Heritage Garden at Park Hill look its very best. So come prepared for whatever the weather may throw at us.   Two hours out of the month is not a lot of hours to pledge but it makes a huge difference when you are part of a willing team and it will make a good impact in the garden.

Hen Blackbird, waiting for worms whilst I dig! Attribution:gailhampshire


Bring your own lunch and eat it in the garden or have a warm bowl of soup from the Cafe.

Cherry Tree near Millenium Garden. Attribution mattbuck

‘When you’re young you prefer the vulgar months, the fullness of the seasons. As you grow older you learn to like the in-between times, the months that can’t make up their minds. Perhaps it’s a way of admitting that things can’t ever bear the same certainty again.”
Julian Barnes, Flauberts Parrot. 

Banner Image: Pink Peony grown in a Midlothian, Virginia USA backyard. Attribution:Mitzi.humphrey

When you have been digging up turf and scraping back the soil and emptying the buckets on the soil heap and your knees and back are aching there is nothing better than turning up a small fragment or shard of pottery!

Pottery identification is an extremely valuable aid to dating archeological sites and their possible use.     It is usually the most common find and is more stable than metals and organic materials.

Find Of The Day – rim sherd of a late Medieval/early Post Medieval vessel

The facts that can be discovered by examining a piece of pottery are fascinating. If you find an intact piece, what can be deduced from inside the pot ie its useage is equally as riveting as how and where the pot was made. Traces left in a container at Must Farm revealed what the food was that had been cooked in the pot, the seeds which then revealed probable agricultural practices and the type of animal fat that the food was cooked in. Bronze Age pots commonly contain human ash or bones.

Burial Urn. Whitelow. Attribution: Sam Walsh

Pottery informs us of cultural practices, rituals, food eaten and animal use amongst other things. The style and decoration of the pottery also holds many clues as to its age and where it was made.    The nature of the fabric of the pot is also useful, most are made from clay some contain inclusions which may consist of flint, human or animal bone.   Patterns of wear and tear and also decorative patterns on the base or rim can be significant in identifying the piece.   Putting the pieces together can be a slow painstaking process.

Collating Various Group Finds. Nov. 2016. Attribution: Alex Whitlock

In short, studying pottery and pottery fragments ought to make one a good detective.  So come along and listen to David’s talk on the Importance of Pottery. David is our Roman expert, having been instrumental in being one of the first two people to carry out expert geophysical exploration on Hadrian’s Wall.  This is just an introduction to whet your appetite.

Found at a reservoir near Widdup Moor. Copyright Alex Whitlock

Meet in the café for a chit chat at 10 am or 10 30 in the Green Room.

Afterwards we will have a short meeting to discuss future plans and activities. It’s over to  you the members.   Non-members welcome.

Banner Image: Samian Ware. British Museum, Portable Antiquities SchemeTwo adjoining sherds of pot thrown Roman terra sigillata (samian sare) from the same vessel dating to the period AD 43-250. The sherds have an orangey patina and the majority of the glaze is intact. There is a raised U shape repetitive motif around the top with a raised line below and beneath that raised relief of a galloping horse and rider looking backwards.

There is a bound to be a blackbirds nest somewhere around Pendle Heritage Centre, the pay off for this is the  lovely song of the male blackbird that you will hear when you come and help Andrea and the gang in the Heritage Garden.

Welsh Primrose. Public Domain

Any support at all in the garden will be much appreciated, its for two hours only, once a month although you would be welcome to put in more time. Every little helps to make the garden look better in the growing and  flowering  season which means that you will get a good sense of satisfaction from seeing the ‘fruit of your labours’.  You can always dodge the April Showers by spending time in the Garden Museum.

Narcissus triandrus Attribution: Xavier Martin

Just turn up at 10 am suited and booted with a willingness to take part, that’s all you need.  You might enjoy a convivial lunch in the cafe afterwards.

Remember Audrey Hepburn?  This is what she had to say about gardening  “To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow”.

Banner Image: Blackbird’s nest. Attribution: Manyman

Spring will be definitely underway by March and the first sparkling waves of daffodils will have gladdened our eyes.  The Gardening Group will have made the first foray into the garden and Peter and Emma will be busy and needing our support, why not come along and give two hours of your time to help make the garden beautiful.

Jonquil Attribution: Fir0002/Flagsstaffotos.

Every little bit of time you can give will make a difference to the garden itself and to the people working in the garden and you can be sure your work appreciated by The Friends, Pendle Heritage Centre and the people working there as well as the people who can see into the garden from the cafe and by those who walk through it.

You might be like Alice Sebold who said ” I like gardening. It’s a place where I find myself when I need to lose myself, now you won’t get lost in the the Heritage Garden but you might find you lose yourself on a warm spring day in the peace and quiet listening to the birds singing.

Forsythia. Attribution: Rdsmith4


The Cafe is always there for a hearty lunch or a warming bowl of soup.   Come along and give us a hand, we will be glad of your company and your support.

Banner Image: Narcissus: Attribution: Kropsoq

In Hyde Park: D Hawgood

It’s that time of year  when everything starts to shift and the sap starts to rise in order for nature to begin to bring forth the glories of the earth.  It’s also the time when Andrea and the gang, on behalf of The Friends, start working in the garden and helping Peter and Emma prepare the garden for the year ahead.

We are looking for people who can give just two hours a month to help in the garden. Of course you are welcome to contribute more hours if you  liase with Peter or Emma.  There are lots of jobs to do in order to maintain the Heritage Garden and your labour goes towards helping it  to look like something that is special in our area.

Yellow Daffodils: John O’Neill

They say that gardening is good for the soul, it certainly is a wise thing to commune with nature every now and then.  So wrap up warm and bring some enthusiasm to help us get off to a good start..  You might also fancy a hearty bowl of warming soup in the Cafe afterwards.


According to Marcus Tullius Cicero “If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need”.   Well we have the garden and Nelson and Colne have the library, what else do we need!

Banner Image: Snowdrops Lothersdale Churchyard. Attribution:
T. Green

After a swift AGM Andrea Smith is back to continue telling and showing us about our local heritage.    Pendle is a wide area, the people, places, buildings and countryside are familiar to us and yet not so familiar if we

Looking across the east face of Pendle Hill. Attribution: Kevin Rushton

look at things from different angles and different perspectives.

So come along and listen and look at unusual, interesting and iconic features of our Pendle heritage.

Members will be given the opportunity to have their say at the AGM and see the election of the new officers, and hear brief reports,  all will be done as quickly as possible.

Clitheroe War Memorial and Pendle in the distance.
Attribution Alexander P. Kapp

No charge. Free light refreshments.

Check out the parking. Free for first hour, then 50p per hour, pay on exit.

Banner Image:Worston Moor forms the NW side of Pendle Hill. Attribution: Jon Royle

This is what Chris Hudson the speaker has to say about his forthcoming talk. “I am passionate about historic engineering, civil and mechanical, primarily driven by a fascination with the Victorian legacy. Engineering heritage of Britain however extends back to medieval times, and who doesn’t get excited by the history of Castles, Abbeys & Churches, where the questions we all ask are “how did they build this?” and “how is it still standing!?”. Nothing gets built without infrastructure though, and we are fortunate that Roman Roads, Pack Horse trails and medieval bridges still remain today for our generation to witness, appreciate and in some instances still use. Conservation and maintenance of existing historic structures falls within the remit of the Civil Engineering industry today.  

Whalley Bridge by JMW Turner. Credit: C. Hudson

Many Civil Engineers operate as specialists such as bridge designers; however I am a multi-discipline Civil Engineer. Whilst bridge design and maintenance is one string to my bow, I hold diverse industry experience. I use my personal desire to research, learn and knowledge share of vital importance alongside my day to day job as a Designer/Civil Engineer. Working in a sector that includes River Engineering, I often find myself working with bridge structures of many forms including medieval arch structures. My role may entail design focused on maintenance, improvement or protection to extend the life of the structure. Contrary, understanding the mechanics of how a bridge works is of utmost importance be it a stone arch, iron truss, steel beam or a concrete structure”.

Clitheroe, from Eadsford Bridge circa 1799 JMW Turner. Art Gallery of Ontario
Chris Hudson at Edisford Bridge. Credit: C. Hudson

   Chris is a Chartered Civil Engineer with over 20 years experience which has included many roles such as as a Highways Designer, Bridge Inspector & Bridge Maintenance Designer. Chris spent some time working for York City Council where he gained experience in respect to Historic Conservation aspects of Civil Engineering.   He now works in the Rivers, Coastal Protection and Marine Sector of the industry.

He is a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) and currently sits as Junior Vice Chair for the North West of England and has previously represented his institution as Lancashire Branch Chair.   He also sits on the ICE North West Historic Engineering Group committee representing  Lancashire & Cumbria.  During 2018, the Institution of Civil Engineers bicentenary, Chris has been delivered talks to public groups about Civil Engineering on a diverse range of topics such as Cumbrian Mine Sea Defences, Fleetwood Lighthouses, Preston Dock & Straightening of the Ribble.

Chris is also a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths) Ambassador and on the back of all his hard work during 2018, he won the accolade of ‘Volunteer of the Year’ from the Institution of Civil Engineers North West. In the same year he was invited to attend a reception at the House of Lords on the invitation of Professor Lord Robert Mair, the President of the Institution of Civil Engineers for his substantial commitment to raising the profile of Civil Engineering in the public realm during the institutions bicentennial year.

What a busy person, we are very much looking forward to hearing him talk.

Attributions for all images: Chris Hudson.

A lovely day on Calf Hill. Day 3. Sept 2019. Attribution: C Rousseau Jones

Weather permitting, a field walk around the Craggs area, near Sabden, to revisit the site of past work and discuss future investigations of the area and Pendle’s Hidden Valley Project.
Meet 10am at the Cafe at the Heritage Centre. Come suited and booted for the weather and bring a packed lunch. If you have any concerns before the day contact
If the weather is inclement ring 07779506499.

Pendle Archaeology Group aka PAG is also on facebook

Banner Image: On the way to Fox Clough 2019. Attribution:C Rousseau Jones

Happy New Year to all archaeology minded people and if you want to know more about what we are planning for the next year, come along to the cafe for a cuppa or brunch at 10 am or the Green Room for the meeting at 10 30 and get involved in the decision making.

Firstly this is a meeting for the Friends to come and give their views on the structure and future direction of the group and the future programme of activities for the next twelve months to include digs, surveys, research, walks and other archaeological activities.

Collating Various Group Finds. Nov. 2016. Attribution: Alex Whitlock

Secondly we have a speaker – Alex Whitlock who is a Finds Liason Officer  (FLO) for Lancashire and Cumbria who will talk on the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) and how it relates to local archaeology.


Free next to the barn, across the road free for the first hour then 50p an hour, pay on exit.

Banner Image: Diggers at Work. August 2019. Calf Hill. Attribution: C.Rousseau Jones.


Victorian ballad singer and Lancashire dialect enthusiast Jennifer Reid is putting together a Lancashire Dialect Reading Group in Pendle. Jennifer will give a short talk including singing, clog dancing and archival oral history recordings to introduce you to the material. The group is inspired by Nelson local Paul Graney, who collected and preserved a large range of Lancashire folklore and music history.

Jennifer Reid at with H and Jules at Northlight Mill, Brierfield at the Shapes of Water Sounds of Hope event.
As part of the Pendle Radicals strand of the wider Pendle Hill Landscape Partnership project which is unfolding over four years in Pendle, Jennifer will be leading a Lancashire Dialect Reading Group meeting monthly and taking the group for visits to the Paul Graney archive at Manchester Central Library. The group will begin as a reading circle, with dialect material drawn from the localities represented by the groups members. As the project develops, the group will have chance to translate their favourite Standard English poems and even write their own if they feel brave enough!
Visits to local industrial and cultural heritage sites are envisaged and there is scope for two shared events to showcase the group’s written, orated and translated poems. This reads rather wordy but all it really is is meeting up, sharing the poems we know and love, with the chance to write your own on the table. Enjoy a relaxed, convivial atmosphere with your neighbours,facilitated by a world-class ballad singer.

Even if you may not at first be interested in joining the group come along and listen to Jennifer’s gutsy and ebullient performance, it s a joy to see someone young so involved in our Lancashire heritage and in preserving it for the future.

Jennifer Reid with the Hairy Bikers on the Pubs that Built Britain tour at the
Cost £2 including refreshments.
Don’t forget to pay on exit from the car park. It’s free for the first hour, thereafter 50p per hour.
Credits: All images see Jennifer’s website