Witch trial project at Melling studio gets £100,000

An arts studio in the Lune Valley has been awarded a £100,000 grant from the Arts Council for a year-long project based on the Lancashire Witch Trials.

Sue Flowers, who runs Green Close Studios in Melling, said some of the money would be used for community arts, crafts and historical projects.

Other plans include a specially written piece by Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy.

This year marks the 400th anniversary of the trials which took place in Lancaster in 1612.

"Everybody who comes from Lancashire knows about the Lancashire witches, but not everybody knows about the reality of their persecution," said Mrs Flowers.

'Struck a chord'

"From my understanding they weren't witches, they were ordinary men and women living in the margins of rural Lancashire.

"It struck a chord with a lot of the work that Green Close does around equality and diversity and their relationship with the environment, something I'm very interested in."

Mrs Flowers and her husband Pete, who have run the studio since 1998, are also working with other artists along the route of a long-distance walk from Pendle to Lancaster, and in local schools.

Special commemorative artworks are also being commissioned.

The two-day witch trials in 1612 led to 10 people being hanged at Gallows Hill in Lancaster, after being found guilty of causing death or harm by witchcraft.

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