A TOP international author is supporting efforts to create a new Quakers' walk around Pendle Hill.

George Fox founded the Society of Friends after experiencing a vision on top of the 557-metre high landmark in 1652.

Now Tracy Chevalier, who wrote bestseller The Girl With the Pearl Earring and grew up as a Quaker, has retraced his steps in 2019.

She is backing a bid to create a trail based on the historic event, also including neighbouring Ribble Valley.

And after climbing the Lancashire peak for the first time, she said: " It was very steep and really blowy at the top.

"But boy it was beautiful – a 360 degree view. You can see all the way to the sea and to the peaks in the Yorkshire Dales. It was glorious.

“I can understand why George Fox would have a moment here, it’s such a beautiful place.”

Mid Pennine Arts and the Pendle Hill Partnership also shot a short film, outlining their efforts to develop the walk and marking her visit.

She was joined by Wendy Hampton, clerk of Clitheroe Quakers, and her friend Amy Peck, a New York archivist.

Tracy's 2013 novel The Last Runaway, covering the Underground Railroad in the United States in the 1850s, focused on Quakers, as they helped slaves escape to freedom using a network of safe houses.

Sarah Lee, pf Pendle Council's communications team, said: "We've wanted to share our area's Quaker connections for a long time and this true story still has deep resonance today.

"It's a wonderful walk for anyone wanting to explore an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and an absorbing history of dissent going back over hundreds of years."

Nick Hunt, Mid Pennine Arts director, is leading a new Pendle Radicals project for the new National Lottery Heritage funded Pendle Hill Partnership.

He said: "George Fox is one of the first and the most famous in a long line of non-conformists associated with the Pendle Hill area.

"We'll be developing a Radicals Trail this year to connect people and places under this theme and the new Quaker walk will link perfectly to that.

"Tracy's visit leads the way in putting Pendle Hill's history of radical thinkers on the map, as we bring our powerful heritage to light."

Tom Pridmore, Ribble Valley Council tourism officer, said: "We're keen to share our beautiful area in a way which will have a low impact on our countryside and rural communities.

“It will benefit our rural economy and neighbouring towns and give people locally, nationally and internationally a really memorable experience."

Fox later visited the village of Downham, where he tried to convert a local inn-keeper.

In his journal, he wrote: "As we travelled we came near a very great hill, called Pendle Hill, and I was moved of the Lord to go up to the top of it; which I did with difficulty, it was so very steep and high.

"When I was come to the top, I saw the sea bordering upon Lancashire. From the top of this hill the Lord let me see in what places he had a great people to be gathered.

"As I went down, I found a spring of water in the side of the hill, with which I refreshed myself, having eaten or drunk but little for several days before…

At night we came to an inn, and declared truth to the man of the house."