Downham Churchyard

Downham is a small village on the road leading up to Newchurch – in – Pendle.

We visited this village and the church in the mists of Autumn time. The village itself was originally thought to have settlers as early as the 8th century.

The main part of the church is thought to have been built in the 15th century, with major restorations taking place between 1909 – 1910.

Some of the productions that have been filmed in Downham include Born and Bred and Whistle Down the Wind.

Blessed Be )O(

A Witchy Birthday 2019

As we do every year we take a trip up to Pendle Hill around my birthday to visit Newchurch – in – Pendle and the witches shop.

With the witches spirit, there were a lot of Samhain decorations in the village.

Around the neighbouring villages on the way to Pendle Hill there were lots of decorations too.

On my actual birthday evening, after tidying up from Samhain, we rearranged the pumpkins, lit a fire and sat outside enjoying the Autumn night.

Blessed Be )O(

My Samhain 2019

My Samhain was a peaceful one this year but it almost didn’t feel like Halloween at all.

As we usually do, the porch got decorated.

We decorated the back garden too.

Our Mabon scarecrow got a new pumpkin head.

Samhain wouldn’t be complete without carved pumpkins.

In the evening we went for a walk around the local village, the churchyard was looking beautiful with the autumn vibe.

We walked around for a while trying to spot pumpkins in the houses, but there seemed to be even less this year. These were some of the few we noticed.

Later in the evening we sat outside and had a fire to celebrate Samhain.

Hope you had a happy Samhain!

Blessed Be )O(

My Mabon 2019

Mabon was special this year because the harvest moon (the nearest full moon to Autumn Equinox) was on Friday 13th.

The combination brought about great power and magic, amping up the ability to manifest your wishes.

Friday is named after the Goddess Freya, all that beholds femininity, love and fertility. 13 is special as there are 13 moon cycles per year and thus has been associated with the Goddess. The angel number 13 represents desire, manifestation and abundance.

As soon as September came we went and collected the fallen conkers.

Shortly after the weather became terrible and we had about three weeks of rain leaving no time to get outside again. The pumpkins were also extremely late this year and weren’t available until well into the first week of October.

Mabon activities were very jagged this year because of the terrible weather and it ended up being celebrated from Friday 13th until the first week of October.

The first chance I got though I was out making our yearly tradition of a scarecrow.

Blessed Be )O(

Gubberford Bridge

Gubberford bridge which is located on Gubberford Lane, Preston is connected to Greenhalgh Castle, in Garstang, Lancashire.

During the siege of Greenhalgh castle in 1644, a soldier from Cromwell’s army, Peter “Hallelujah” Broughton was said to have reunited with his estranged wife at Gubberford bridge.

One evening as the soldier was wondering over the bridge he encountered his wife whom he had not laid eyes on in five years. While the married couple were having a long lost reunion, a cavalier, Rupert Rowton jumps out at the woman and stabs her.

During the separation Mrs Broughton had fallen in love with this cavalier and had bigamously married him.

The reason for her second husband murdering her was because on the evening of her death she was said to be meeting another lover, Cavalier Captain Lord Albin.

The second husband had mistakenly took the woman’s first husband for being her lover and as they uncovered the truth, both men agreed to keep the murder of their wife to themselves and they buried her body along the bank of the river Wyre.

It wasn’t until his death bed that Peter Broughton told the tale of what he did, however Mrs Broughton’s body was never found.

Legend has it that every August the woman appears on the bridge looking for her husbands or perhaps her skeletal remains.

Over the years the tales have told that this woman would be stood on the bridge wearing a cloak with a hood over her head looking for a ride. As the unsuspecting horsemen would help her mount the back of the horse, to which only then she would reveal her true self to the rider – a skeletal figure.

The skeletal ghost of the murdered woman is said to have frightened a lot of people to death as the centuries passed on by, if you were lucky you would come away with only injuries.

Blessed Be )O(

Hutton-In-The-Forest

Hutton-In-The-Forest is a historic house and gardens located in Penrith, Cumbria.

No one actually knows exactly when this house was built but the first historical reference to it was in 1292 when Edward I visited Thomas De Hoton.

Hutton-In-The-Forest was believed to be a medieval stronghold and still includes to this day a Pele tower. Pele towers were square defensive buildings that were situation all along the Scottish/English border, with their primary use as being a watch tower for invading enemy forces.

Over the years the house has been added on, extended and incorporates architecture from multiple centuries. A gallery was added in the 1630’s which was a rare feature for the North of England. The hall was built in 1680 leading to 18th century rooms upstairs, the drawing room dates from 1830 and the library from 1870.

The Pele tower which is the oldest part of the building was turned into the entrance way but not until the late 19th century. Lady Darlington’s room is an 18th century room that was redecorated with green paint and William Morris wallpaper during the arts and crafts period (between 1880 and 1920).

Unfortunately we checked the opening times, as the garden and house are open on different days, but the day we went the house was unexpectedly closed so we only got to walk around the gardens.

The de Hotons lived in Hutton-In-The-Forest until 1605, after that the house was sold to Richard Fletcher who moved there from Cockermouth and was said to be a known entertainer of Mary Queen of Scots.

At this point the house started to resemble that of a mansion rather than a defense castle. Fletcher was knighted by James I and Fletcher’s son Henry was the one that built the gallery. Henry died at the Battle of Rowton Heath in 1645 and his son George lived there until 1700.

Henry had been a baronet and when he died that title passed onto George, even though the estate belonged to him, George died in France in 1712.

After George’s death there was some dispute over the will, but eventually the house was given to his nephew Henry Vale.

Henry, who later went by the surname Fletcher, had a love for trees which lead him to plant over 50 000 of them. He was the creator of the walled garden and the middle pond.

All the gates to the walled garden have a different flower theme.

Henry died unmarried and without children, leaving the estate to his younger brother Walter. Lyonel, Walter’s son, was made a baronet a few days before Walter died in 1786.

After Lyonel died, the house passed onto his son Frederick and after that it was to his son Francis.

Francis extended and renovated the house, leaving it to his son Henry. Margaret whom Henry married in 1870 is the one responsible for creating the arts and crafts decor in Lady Darlington’s room. They died without having any children.

After their death the house remained in trust for a number of years, until a distant cousin, William Vane inherited it in the 1940’s. William married Mary in 1949 and the eldest of their two sons, Richard is the present owner and Lord of the house, which he inherited in 1989.

Blessed Be )O(

Wray Scarecrow Festival

The last few years we’ve been attending Wray scarecrow festival. It usually happens the last week in April. We started going because the festival had a Maypole and it became our way to celebrate Beltane.

However, this year was the first year we didn’t go and I probably don’t think I’ll be going again. Every year there seems to be less and less people participating, then the scarecrows were getting reused and eventually I decided it wasn’t worth the hour drive there to see something I saw the year before.

I did check out a video on Youtube from this year and I saw the same old scarecrows being shown off again.

I actually found another scarecrow festival to go to this year and was sadly disappointed when I saw only about five houses had decorated for it. As I said, I go to these around Beltane to celebrate and have fun, which there’s also a more local scarecrow festival around Lammas time. I like the small village community spirit, keeping the old traditions alive but unfortunately it seems to be dying out more and more.

Anyway, I still wanted to share some of the photos I’ve collected because they are pretty cool and maybe if you’ve never been to a scarecrow festival before you might like to see them.

I always seem to find a cat or two no matter where I go.

Blessed Be )O(

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