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Sunray10
Regular Member


557 Posts
Posted -  08/12/2011  :  18:02
Click on the link about this exciting new find which could be the real Malkin Tower. http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/dec/08/pendle-witches-water-mummified-cat?INTCMP=SRCH


R.Spencer.
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Sunray10
Regular Member


557 Posts
Posted - 14/12/2011 : 21:53
Here is a screen shot I took from the BBC's North-West Tonight programme. This shows the skeleton of the cat that was found mummified in a wall.
malkin

Another screen shot showing the Victorian range. Looks almost usable, still !
malkin
Edited by - Sunray10 on 14/12/2011 21:54

Edited by - Sunray10 on 14/12/2011 22:11:07


R.Spencer. Go to Top of Page
panbiker
Senior Member


2301 Posts
Posted - 14/12/2011 : 23:08
I thought when I saw the pictures of the so called mummified cat first that it was a bit of a far fetched description. On closer inspection I think that if it was on sale it would be a breach of the trade descriptions act!

What is left of the feline is about as far away from mummification as you can possibly get without it not existing at all. Looking at what's in the box, there does not appear to have been any attempt at preservation at all.


Ian Go to Top of Page
Bradders
Senior Member


1880 Posts
Posted - 14/12/2011 : 23:39
BREAKING NEWS....... "Cat  Found Dead  Near Pendle HIll "

When asked , a local resident  (49) , said....

"...it's ollas 'appnin round 'ere .....which house wer it ? "

This has sparked speculation that............etc etc... 


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 15/12/2011 : 05:10
I like it Brad..... When I think of the number of dead pets we buried at Hey Farm under the thorn tree in the garden I reflect that it could be a trigger for speculation in the future.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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belle
VIP Member


6502 Posts
Posted - 15/12/2011 : 11:04
happen the cat just fell to it's death dahn chimbley!


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 16/12/2011 : 05:58
I don't think a simple explanation like that will fulfill the expectations of the more gullible out there!


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 16/12/2011 : 09:33
Brilliant letter from John in the BET this morning. I took him behind the bike sheds and threatened to duff him up if he didn't post it on Here! We shall see how much notice he took of me!


Stanley Challenger Graham




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BarrowfordJohn
Regular Member


706 Posts
Posted - 16/12/2011 : 10:01
When it comes to media hysteria it's good to see that common sense
still reigns - at least among the OGFB contributors!

I have been threatened with extreme violence by Uncle Stanley if I don't post this morning's letter to the Leader - so . . . there's nothing else for it but to obey. I hope it makes sense: 

Further to the story of the 'Witches' Cottage' (9th
December):- this story appears to have emanated from a press release on behalf of United Utilities. The BBC wasted no time and pounced on the idea of 'a ruined building having just been discovered' (reported in an awestruck tone), 'in the shadow of Pendle Hill' (whispered for maximum effect) containing a 'mummified cat' (a bit shriller now). They then wheeled on a chap in an undertaker's outfit to proclaim the site to be that of 'the infamous Malkin Tower - a major historical breakthrough' - and there we have it. Within hours the story that the meeting house for a massive witches' coven had been discovered in Lanchester was being reported by our American cousins. 


Hopefully, the hysteria and sensationalism should have abated by now and, at the risk of being accused of spoiling a good story with the truth, it has to be said that there is not a single shred of substantive evidence to indicate that this site is indeed that of Malkin Tower.
 


It is disappointing that a major guardian of our heritage (United Utilities) should rush out such an ill-researched story. Given the fact that a private firm of archaeologists have carried out the excavations of the building we might at least expect that any press release would be held off until a structured report of the site became available.    
 

So . . . stripping back the hyperbole of the story what are we actually left with? Firstly, the 'new discovery' was nothing of the sort. The building in question appears on the first OS map (1840s) and was partly demolished in 1902 when Smith Whitehead led the construction of the Lower Black Moss reservoir. At this time the upper part of the building was removed and dumped in the croft adjoining the eastern side of the building; the ruin was then partly backfilled to form an even slope. However, it is clear from air photographs of the 1940s, 1960s and 2009 that the extant walls of the building protruded from the soil surface - in other words, it was never actually buried . Further to this, the building was described as 'a ruin' in 1925 by Joe Bates in his book Rambles Around Pendle. 

Secondly, much has been made of the cat skeleton within the building fabric. However, this is far from being unusual, it was a common nationwide practice to place dead cats within a building to provide an element of protection against ill fortune for the occupants. As paper became more readily available in the 18th century, and second-hand astrology books began to fall into the hands of those wishing to make a few bob from their more gullible neighbours, so the written 'witch charm' became popular. Even today there must be thousands of undiscovered charms, cats, shoes, bottles, iron crosses etc. hidden within older houses and barns throughout the area.    
  
 
 

Thirdly, the onsite archaeologist described the building as dating to the 17th century and this would appear to be correct. Certainly the construction of the internal doorway, connecting the southern cell to the next room, appears to be contemporary with the late 17th century external doorway in the south wing at Barcroft Hall (Cliviger), the porch at Pearson's Farm (Wycoller) and Winewall Farm (Trawden - 1690). Elizabeth Southern (Demdike) is said in Potts' account of the 1612 Witch trials to have lived at Malkin Tower for a very long time. On balance, then, her dwelling would have been built in the 16th century but, even if we have the highly unlikely scenario that Demdike lived in a brand new house in 1612, there would be a separation of a number of decades between the erection of the 'newly discovered' building and Malkin Tower. 

The ruined building was formerly part of a small farmstead with crofts, outbuildings and a barn and may well have been part of the Barley with Wheatley Booth Upperhouses estate. At the time of the witch trials, and for centuries afterwards, part of the estate was owned by the Bulcock family and was eventually split when two sisters inherited in 1864. This is possibly when the ruined building was divided by bricking up the internal connecting doorway. During the 19th century the properties at Upperhouses were inhabited by a number of people, chiefly the Hartley and Hargreaves families - in 1845 James Hartley, aged ten, was accidentally hanged when he became entangled in a cord and slipped.

The four hundredth anniversary of the witch trials looms upon us and this provides an opportunity to separate fantasy and fiction. Unfortunately, knee-jerk assumptions, such as we have seen in 'The Witches' Cottage,' do little to advance the cause of those who wish to approach as near to the truth of the matter as possible. Furthermore, many of the foreign news reports relating to this story painted the people of Pendle as Devil worshippers who make a habit of walling up live cats for fun. Some might say that all publicity is good publicity but I have my doubts. In conclusion, then, there is a genuine historical story to be told about the ruined building at Barley - unfortunately, the story offered to us by the media is without foundation (pardon the pun).  

John A Clayton

Barrowford          

                    

Edited by - BarrowfordJohn on 16/12/2011 10:03:46 AM

Edited by - BarrowfordJohn on 16/12/2011 10:09:59 AM


Never trust an electrician with no eyebrows!

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panbiker
Senior Member


2301 Posts
Posted - 16/12/2011 : 12:58
Nice one John, already read it in the BET but a very balanced and informed reply which of course is what we would expect from someone like yourself with proper understanding and a wealth of your own research to back it up.

What amazes me is how gullible some folk can be, but of course history tells us that facts dont nescessarily matter once an idea gets a seed. A certain Austrian corporal made an entire carreer out of misinformation, hyping up false history as gospel which then became an ideology that millions supported and were prepared to die for. We are all fully aware of what that did for the world.

I am not suggesting that the reporting on the cottage up by the res will have anything like the same effect but you never know. If I created enough spin there may be a job opportunity here for a resurrected post of "Witchfinder General" , although the bloke in the undertakers suit might have beat me to that one!


Ian Go to Top of Page
Gloria
Senior Member


3581 Posts
Posted - 16/12/2011 : 14:02
Thanks for that John--- a good, informative read.


I'd be dangerous with a brain!!!!!
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pluggy
Geek


1164 Posts
Posted - 16/12/2011 : 14:20
The fact that the building has a Victorian range tends to dispurse any notions it had been buried since the time of the witches.

It sells papers.... 


Need computer work ?
"http://www.stsr.co.uk"

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Sunray10
Regular Member


557 Posts
Posted - 16/12/2011 : 15:00
Many thanks John. An interesting and informative piece of work. I like your books by the way !


R.Spencer. Go to Top of Page
Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 17/12/2011 : 05:40
Nice to know the young sometimes take notice of what I say.....

How's your leg Plugs?


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Julie in Norfolk
Senior Member


1632 Posts
Posted - 17/12/2011 : 06:03
Don't you mean the younger Stanley?


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pluggy
Geek


1164 Posts
Posted - 17/12/2011 : 09:46


quote:
Stanley wrote:

How's your leg Plugs?


Got a new cast on it and they say I can put part of my weight on it. I'm hobbling around  with a 4 footed stick thing they lent me.  I go back to Airedale in the new year for the next appraisal.


Need computer work ?
"http://www.stsr.co.uk"

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