Lancashire Witches Walk Launch
Ashton Memorial, Lancaster
Friday 17th May. By invitation only
Tomorrow, Carol Ann Duffy will unveil the first of ten specially created cast iron waymarkers, each of which will feature the new poem written by the Poet Laureate.
The half-ton waymarkers are being installed along the new, 51-mile ‘Lancashire Witches Walk’ which explores the route taken by the ten women and men who were executed as witches in August 1612.
The poem, ‘The Lancashire Witches’, was commissioned by Green Close as part of the ambitious £200K twelve month programme, Lancashire Witches 400. The project explored the history of the ten women and men who became known as the Lancashire Witches, their trial and execution, and the enduring issue of persecution today.
The other nine waymarkers will be located at significant points along the new walking route which stretches from Barrowford all the way to Lancaster. Designated sites include Crook o’ Lune, Claughton, Slaidburn and Williamson’s Park.
The full poem – consisting of ten tercets – is inscribed on all the waymarkers, but each one also features the name of one of the ‘witches’ and a single tercet of the poem in specially designed letters so a rubbing can be taken.
Ms Duffy is scheduled to unveil the ninth tercet at Williamson Park. About the Lancashire Witches, she said: ‘I was struck by the echoes of under-privilege and hostility to the poor, the outsider, the desperate, which are audible still.’
Manchester-based textual artist Stephen Raw has designed the lettering for the waymarkers and overseen the casting process by the Downs Foundry in Huddersfield.
“At a time when real books and libraries are disappearing and intangible digital texts are multiplying in cyberspace, this is one text that is guaranteed to be physically around for a long time. The poem is composed of short, concrete, expressive Anglo-Saxon words, so it’s ideal to be cast in iron and made part of the landscape” Dr Robert Poole
A book to accompany the route will be available for sale on Amazon soon. For more information about the Lancashire Witches 400 Project, visit the website: www.lancashirewitches400.org
Further information about textual artist, Stephen Raw, vista his website: www.stephenraw.com