This circular walk is a very pleasant route around Barley.
We first visit Narrowgates Mill, a thriving spinning mill in the 19th and early 20th century’s. Today the mill cottages give a great sense of the past.
We continue alongside the stream that originally powered the mill waterwheel, to White Hough, then the village of Newchurch-in-Pendle as well as the Upper and Lower Ogden reservoirs.
The area is blessed with an abundance of footpaths and rights of way for the pedestrian visitor, indicative of the activity of the community over the centuries. It suggests a close-knit community relying on mutual support for produce, food and trade within a populated rural area. Many of the old properties along the walk date back to the 16th and 17th centuries.
During this walk, I encourage you to remember and respect the lives of the poor victims of an unjust act of treachery by the State against unfortunate individuals who were just living their lives. It is easy to recall the ‘Pendle Witches’ as folklore, we should reflect: they were real people living real lives! In 1612, the Pendle Witch trials took place in Lancaster. The accused all lived in the Pendle area, of the 12 accused, 10 were tried and found guilty, they were denied a defence and were hanged on Lancaster Moor, their bodies subsequently burned. This must be one of the worst acts in the history of the English Justice System. It is likely most, if not all, were innocent of any wrongdoing. Alice Nutter, one of the victims, her family grave is in St Marys Church at Newchurch-in-Pendle.