Malkin Tower

Despite its name, Malkin Tower is likely to have been a simple cottage. It was home to Elizabeth Southerns, also known as Demdike, and her granddaughter Alizon Device, two of the alleged Pendle witches. On Good Friday, 10 April 1612, it was the venue for perhaps the best-known alleged witches’ coven in English legal history.

About Malkin Tower in brief

Summary Malkin TowerDespite its name, Malkin Tower is likely to have been a simple cottage. It was home to Elizabeth Southerns, also known as Demdike, and her granddaughter Alizon Device, two of the alleged Pendle witches. On Good Friday, 10 April 1612, it was the venue for perhaps the best-known alleged witches’ coven in English legal history. Eight of those attending were subsequently arrested and tried for causing harm by witchcraft, seven of whom were found guilty and executed. Archaeological excavations in the area have failed to discover any confirmed remains of the building. It may have been demolished shortly after the 1612 trials, as it was at the time at empty buildings and empty buildings were common. The official account of the trials, written by Thomas Potts, in his Wonderfull Discoverie of Witches, mentions Malking Tower many times, but only describes it as being in the Forest of Pendle.

One contender is in the civil parish of Blacko Farm, on the site of present-day Malkin Farm, in Blacko Parish, Lancashire, which has been made part of Black Farm Parish since 1840. The name Malkin has several possible derivations: it was a familiar form of the female names Mary or Maud, and a term for a poor or shabby woman; the similar mawkin was a word used to describe a lower-class woman or slut. It has also been suggested that the name was a combination of mal and kin as a slight to the residents of Malkin tower, which local historian Arthur Douglas considers unlikely.