I know I need a Haircut but I can still see you.
I might pop over to the hairdressers after I finish my lunch!
It shows my naivety, I thought sailing boats were reputed to have a ‘ships cat’. But the above sign on a fishing shed at a Scottish Harbour seems to indicate that Otters, Leopards and even Kangaroo’s find their way on board…..a whole new meaning to the saying ‘Hop on Board mate’
After 3 days of ‘battening down the hatches’ so to speak as the rains and severe storms past, we deemed it time to continue our late summer tour. So it was a cold but bright morning when we said goodbye to The Loch of Forfar and headed north……
But before we left Angus and as we had to pas that very Scottish of Castles we decided to pay a quick visit. It is of course GLAMIS CASTLE, the favourite castle of the late Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. It is a castle of turrets, fortified windows and a oh so magnificent ‘front door’……definitely one to keep visitors at bay!
Glamis is of course the castle upon which Macbeth (The Scottish Play) was based. Shakespeare used it as the setting. However it has to be a ‘rumour’ as the murder room hadn’t been built at that time….still a good rumour that has severed the castle and its tourist trade well. And rightly so as the castle and the gardens are somewhere you can easily spend a day exploring; but after the bright start the grey clouds had returned so a quick visit it was. But even so that didn’t deter one majestic member of the Estate from wishing us well between mouthfuls of grass.
It is also very fitting that a memorial to the Late Princess Margaret has been created in the grounds. Princess Margaret was born at Glamis in 1930 and died in 2002.
Written September the 13th for posting when signal available.
The Loch of Forfar
A tranquil scene, the Loch of Forfar is I suppose well named as it runs straight into this quiet and attractive town slap bang in the middle of Angus, just about halfway between Dundee and the famous Angus Glens of Isla, Glova and Esk.
But peaceful as it is to-day several centuries ago it was a different story. Witch Hunts had become something of regular pursuit in the 15/1600’s across Scotland and England. The Witch Hunts north of the border were instigated by The Church of Scotland; some accounts record over 4000 people, mainly women, being accused of witchcraft and sorcery. Of course not all those accused were witches but as extreme torture was employed to gain confessions it is hardly a surprise to find so many were found guilty. As to their fate, well that was as grizzly as the torture, execution. The preferred and approved method of execution was strangulation then the remains were burnt in a barrel of tar. Not all executions were ‘as merciful’ some were burnt alive.
It would also appear that a great deal depended upon the seal of the local Church Minister….those that believed in witchcraft and sorcery were ruthless in their drive to exterminate the practice.
THE FORFAR WITCHES
Even a small town like Forfar had its witches, the hunt inspired by Minister Alexander Robertson resulted in over 42 suspects being identified and accused. Local records show that 9 were executed, some banished by being ‘whipped’ out of the town. For many their fate was not recorded.
The success of the hunt depended upon locals identifying suspects and as can be imagined many accused their neighbours either to settle old scores or to divert the attention away from themselves.
It would also appear that of the 9 executed in Forfar most were identified by a certain Helen Guthrie after she had been accused of being a witch; an attempt to seek to direct attention away from herself and seek a pardon perhaps. But even her luck ran out in 1662. She was the last witch to be executed in Forfar. As for Minister Robertson…he was removed by the Church as being over enthusiastic in his pursuit of witches.
Fast forward to this century and you will find that a monument has been built on the tranquil north shore of Loch of Forfar…..a monument to the FORFAR WITCHES. It is suggested that this is the very location were the remains of the Witches are buried.
P.S. I understand that after much research, two sites were identified as possible burial sites. The strength of evidence tipped the scales for this location. I also a cynic and may be the location selected has more to do with its easy access for tourist
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