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Lancashire (/ˈlæŋkəʃər/ LANG-kə-shər, /-ʃɪər/ -⁠sheer; abbreviated Lancs.) is a ceremonial county in North West England. The administrative centre is Preston. The county has a population of 1,449,300 and an area of 1,189 square miles (3,080 km2). People from Lancashire are known as Lancastrians.

The history of Lancashire begins with its founding in the 12th century. In the Domesday Book of 1086, some of its lands were treated as part of Yorkshire. The land that lay between the Ribble and Mersey, Inter Ripam et Mersam, was included in the returns for Cheshire. When its boundaries were established, it bordered Cumberland, Westmorland, Yorkshire, and Cheshire.

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Ann Redferne and Chattox, two of the Pendle witches

The Pendle witch trials of 1612 are among the most famous witch trials in English history, and some of the best recorded of the 17th century. The twelve accused lived in the area around Pendle Hill in Lancashire, and were charged with the murders of ten people by the use of witchcraft. All but two were tried at Lancaster Assizes 17–19 August 1612 along with the Samlesbury witches and others, in what became known as the Lancashire witch trials. One was tried at York Assizes on 27 July 1612, and another died in prison. Of the eleven Pendle witches who went to trial – nine women and two men – ten were found guilty and executed by hanging and one was found not guilty. The Lancashire witch trials were unusual for England at that time in two respects: the official publication of the trial proceedings by the clerk to the court, Thomas Potts, in his The Wonderfull Discoverie of Witches in the Countie of Lancaster, and in the number of witches hanged together: ten at Lancaster and one at York. In more recent times, the witches have become the inspiration for Pendle's tourism and heritage industries.

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Ashton Memorial

Lancaster is the county town of Lancashire, England. It is situated on the River Lune and has a population of 45,952. Lancaster is a constituent settlement of the wider City of Lancaster, local government district which has a population of 133,914 and encompasses several outlying towns, including neighbouring Morecambe.

Long existing as a commercial, cultural and educational centre, Lancaster is the settlement that gives Lancashire its name. Lancaster has several unique ties to the British monarchy; the House of Lancaster was a branch of the English royal family, whilst the Duchy of Lancaster holds large estates on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II, who herself is also the Duke of Lancaster. Lancaster was granted city status in 1937.

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St John the Baptist Church, Pilling


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