Newchurch in Pendle

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Newchurch in Pendle
Newchurch in Pendle - - 570987.jpg
Newchurch in Pendle
Newchurch in Pendle is located in Lancashire
Newchurch in Pendle
Newchurch in Pendle
Newchurch in Pendle shown within Lancashire
OS grid reference SD821393
Civil parish
Shire county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town BURNLEY
Postcode district BB12
Dialling code 01282
Police Lancashire
Fire Lancashire
Ambulance North West
EU Parliament North West England
UK Parliament
List of places
53°51′00″N 2°16′19″W / 53.850°N 2.272°W / 53.850; -2.272Coordinates: 53°51′00″N 2°16′19″W / 53.850°N 2.272°W / 53.850; -2.272

Newchurch in Pendle is a village in the civil parish of Goldshaw Booth, Pendle, Lancashire adjacent to Barley, to the south of Pendle Hill.


Famous for the Demdike family of Pendle witches who lived there in the 17th century. Newchurch used to be called 'Goldshaw Booth' and later 'Newchurch in Pendle Forest', however this was shortened to 'Newchurch in Pendle'.

St Mary's Church at the centre of the village is steeped in history. The church is not easily visible from the road, as it lies on the downward side of a steep hill, with a row of houses at the top and the primary school, St Mary's Church of England School, to the side. There was a chapel of ease on this site in 1250 and a later chapel was dedicated in 1544. The tower, although restored, is the only remaining part of that building.

The current church was probably built in the 17th century, it was only completed in 1740. The "eye of God" is built into the west side of the tower. To the east of the porch, up against the south wall, is the grave of a member of the Nutter family (carved with a skull and crossbones). Local legend has it that it's the last resting place of Alice Nutter, one of the famous Pendle witches. However, executed witches were not normally buried in consecrated ground, and the skull and crossbones is a common memento mori device used to remind onlookers of their own mortality. So it can be fairly confidently asserted that the legend is in fact a myth. Every August, since 1949. the ancient ceremony of rushbearing has been performed. There is a procession around the village and the new Rushbearing Queen is crowned, followed by a service of thanksgiving in the church.[citation needed]

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External links[edit]

Media related to Newchurch in Pendle at Wikimedia Commons