In and around Lancaster there are places to visit which are linked to the history of the Judges’ Lodgings.
Thomas Covell, the builder of the current Judges’ Lodgings in Lancaster, was Governor of Lancaster Castle in 1612, when the Pendle Witches were brought to trial there. This is one of the most famous witch trials in history, partly because it was well documented by the then Clerk to the Court at Lancaster Castle. Lancaster is the final stopping place on the Witches’ Trail from Pendle.
Sambo was a young black enslaved African, brought into the Lancaster port of Sunderland Point by his master in about 1736. He died alone in the inn at Sunderland Point and was buried nearby in unconsecrated ground, in an unmarked grave. About 60 years after Sambo’s death the retired headmaster of Lancaster Grammar School raised money to put up a memorial to Sambo, which is regularly decorated by local people with flowers and painted stones. Sambo was just one of the slaves brought into Lancaster as a victim of the slave trade. Gillows’ success was based on growing trade with the slave economies of the Caribbean. Gillows’ traded West Indian goods like wood, sugar and spirits produced by enslaved Africans.
Leighton Hall, north of Lancaster, is the family home of the Gillows and contains many fine examples of their furniture. “There are no roped off areas at Leighton Hall – Visitors are invited to sit on the ancient chairs while entertaining and enthusiastic guides reveal the family’s history and habits. They are welcome to take their places around the 18th century dining table or even to play a tune on the Concert Steinway piano.” The impressive hall sits in the middle of splendid park land and makes an excellent day’s visit.
Meet new people, have fun, share your knowledge, take on a challenge… get involved with us at Lancaster Judges’ Lodgings.