Blacko archaeologists excavate Malkin Tower Farm home of Pendle Witch Demdyke

YOUNG archaeologists from Blacko Primary School were looking to unearth some interesting pieces of history when they dug up their neighbour’s back garden.

Monday, 1st August 2011, 11:49 am

Eight pupils along with teachers and members of Barrowford Archeological Group excavated an area of Malkin Tower Farm, Blacko, where they believe famed witch Demdyke to have lived.

Next year marks the 400th anniversary of the Lancashire Witch trial and pupils have been studying the history of the area - which of course incorporates the witches.

The children wanted to find evidence that supported their story that suggests the witches were innocent of crimes put to them - for example theft, and believe they were targeted because of religious beliefs.

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They called on Rachel Turner from the farm to see if they could uncover any artefacts from the era.

Class 4 teacher Mrs Charlotte Dilworth said: “We believe everything points back to this site and believe this is where Demdyke lived and where a house probably stood. We have been teaching the children to understand the different stories about the Pendle Witches and hope to find evidence that will support our story.”

The boys and girls dug out a 1m. by 4m. trench and got to work with trowels and digging equipment, searching for buried treasure layer by layer.

They were hoping to find objects such as coins and pottery dating back to the 1600s.

And although a more thorough and deeper dig was required, they did find pieces of charcoal and iron.

Mrs Dilworth added: “The Barrowford Archaeological Group came to help the children understand the dig and they have all had a lovely time. The site has been measured from a fixed position so in years to come we can come back and try again.”

Michael Handford from the Barrowford Archaeological Group said: “We never come back with nothing, but we do come back knowing nothing was there.”

Thanks to the Barrowford-based group and also to Mr and Mrs Turner.