Festival Bowland remembers radicals and delves into Sawley Abbey's history

Bowland Festival's latest online offerings include talks on the radicals of Pendle and Sawley Abbey's monastic past.

A slice of Lancashire's often hidden history of nonconformists, reformers and change makers is to be revealed in a special online event as part of this year's Festival Bowland.

The result of research by volunteers who have joined a Pendle Radicals project the presentation on Tuesday 23rd March at 6.30 pm by Burnley-based Mid Pennine Arts will share tales of the first Quaker, a local boy who became a beacon of the Enlightenment, pioneers of the Independent Labour Party and campaigners for women's suffrage and the right to roam.

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Speakers will also introduce The Radicals Trail, new themed walks which offer a new way of exploring the rural communities around Pendle Hill. The trail was part funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, through LEADER funding via Lancashire County Council.

Sawley Abbey, the ruins of the Cistercian abbey close to the River Ribble near Clitheroe ( photo: © Forest of Bowland AONB)

Historic Sawley Abbey will be in the spotlight on Wednesday April 21 at 6.30pm when Dr Michael Carter, senior properties historian at English Heritage, discusses the insights the abbey ruins provide into 400 years of monsastic residence. Between 1148 and 1537 a community of Cistercian monks lived and worked at the abbey.

His talk entitled 'Sawley Abbey:The buildings and people of a medieval monastery' will question traditional notions of late medieval decline leading to Henry VIII's Dissolution of the Monasteries. It will use art and architecture to illuminate the lives of the people who lived, prayed and worked at the abbey over those centurie.s

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Both events will last until 8pm. Sessions are free but places need to be booked in advance.

For more information and booking details contact Sandra Silk at the Forest of Bowland AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) at [email protected] or Jayne Ashe at the Pendle Hill Landscape Partnership on [email protected]

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Clarion House at Newchurch in Pendle was home to the Nelson Independent Labour Party Photo: © Pendle Hill Landscape Partnership

Festival Bowland is an annual event organised by the AONB.

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