A PERMANENT memorial to ‘Pendle Witch’ Alice Nutter is set to be unveiled to mark the 400th anniversary of the famous Witch Trials.

More than £10,000 has been raised for the project and artists from across the country are currently competing to create the life-size statue, to be placed in Blacko Bar Road, in the village of Roughlee.

The scheme was the idea of Pendle councillor James Starkie whose interest in the story dates back to his time as an art student in Lancaster, near the castle where the ‘witches’ were imprisoned and tried.

Coun Starkie said: “Our vision is to create a lasting memorial to a past resident of the village.

"It will depict her sitting down and people will be able to rest on benches by her side.”

Alice Nutter was unusual among the accused of 1612 in being comparatively wealthy, the widow of a tenant farmer.

She entered a plea of not guilty to the charge of murdering Henry Mitton by witchcraft but was later hanged after evidence that she was present at what was deemed a ‘witches’ coven’ at Malkin Tower, Blacko, on Good Friday, 1612.

The statue, entitled Alice and commissioned by Roughlee Parish Council, is due to be unveiled on April 14.

Other events will take place in the county to mark the 400th anniversary of the trials which still resonate internationally, with tourists from all over the Far East, visiting Pendle.

The Pendle Witches

  • ALICE Nutter was one of the famous Pendle Witches, put on trial in 1612
  • 12 accused living around Pendle Hill were charged with murdering 10 people by witchcraft
  • All but two were tried at Lancaster Assizes, along with the Samlesbury witches and others, in trials that have become known as the Lancashire witch trials
  • Six of the Pendle witches came from one of two families, each headed by a female in her 80s
  • Many of the allegations followed accusations made by members of the Demdike and Chattox families against each other, perhaps as they competed to make a living from healing, begging, and extortion.