Sunday, January 22, 2017

The Horsingdon Transmissions No.22: Burn Hill

Blackbird Hill forms part of a nature reserve which can be found a few miles toward the southern end of Eastcote Lane, just outside the bounds of Northwich. The hill is heavily wooded and quite ancient - a space characterised by a mood of quiet desolation. It used to be known as Burn Hill, on account of its being the location at which a number of witches were executed In 1678. In England at the time witches were typically hanged and not burnt; but apparently on this occasion the local community felt the need to enact an absolute and irrevocable erasure to ensure that no necromantic ressurection of the flesh was possible, reducing the accused miscreants to ashes on account of the heinousness of their crimes. Exactly what these were - outside of the accusations of blasphemy and maleficarum  - is a fact upon which the historical records remain silent.

The folk that continue to live in the vicinity of Blackbird Hill have not, however, entirely laid this particular (and largely forgotten) episode of English history to rest: strange, whispering shapes are still said to stalk the woods at night, making sacrifice in their own small way to Those Who Wait; and if one knows where to look, there remain to this day the worn remnants of what were once squat megaliths, still yet bearing the marks of veneration of ancient and nameless gods.

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