Golgotha Village, Lancaster

The location of Golgotha (‘the Place of the Skull’), where Christ was crucified in the Holy Land, is disputed. One Golgotha whose site we can very accurately pinpoint is closer to home here in Lancashire. The sign claims it is a village, a surprisingly generous description. It’s more like a hamlet between the Bowerham and Moorlands areas of Lancaster and is found opposite Williamson’s Park. My ancestors farmed it in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Why would so small and pretty a place be awarded so emotive a name? Well this, like Jerusalem’s, was Lancashire’s place of execution. In 1800, hangings were relocated to the castle, but from Norman times until that year, every condemned felon from as far afield as Manchester, Liverpool, Preston and Barrow would have breathed his last in this spot overlooking the town. Indeed, it’s where the unfortunate Pendle Witches were dispatched. The gallows are long since gone, but the stocks still remain. Thousands of people entered eternity on this spot over a seven hundred-year period. Many were guilty of horrid crimes and may have dreaded what awaited them; others, by God’s grace, appealed to a mercy in heaven denied them on earth.

'The vilest offender who truly believes, that moment from Jesus a pardon receives'. FVA