Getting Bitten

Black And White Photography, James, Photography

Scar House – Angram Walk

Grandson Mackenzie who has started taking up photography. He took a few with his old phone and when I discovered he wanted to take up the hobby I bought him a second hand Nikon D7000, which he loves. This is he taking a photo with his old phone on one of our hikes.

The Witches Stone

Black And White Photography, James, Photography

Pity poor Kate McNiven, for her fate was a terrible one.

Kate, a very old lady and Nanny to the Laird of Monzie in Perthshire in Scotland, must have done something to the family, because she was accused of being a Witch. She was seized, taken up a very steep hill known as the Knock of Crieff to the north of the town, forced into a barrel and rolled down the side. The slope down which she was pushed is now called Kate McNiven’s Craig.

If that wasn’t enough, she was then dragged out of the barrel and set alight (just to make sure, presumably)…

One of the Grahams of Inchbrackie (which is a neighbouring property) tried to save Kate, but to no avail. In gratitude she spat out of her mouth a bead into Graham’s hand – which on closer examination turned out to be a sapphire from a ring. Kate told Graham that as long as his family kept the bead they would prosper (in truth, they may have but Inchbrackie Castle has gone and the lands were sold in 1882).

Before McNiven was burnt she cursed the Laird of Monzie and the Village of Monzie itself.

“From father to son, Monzie shall never pass; no heir of line should ever hold the lands now held by him”

She then proceeded to curse the Kirktoun of Monzie;

“In future years, its size and population should decrease, it should hold no share in all the growing prosperity of the surrounding towns, and ever by some hearth amidst its cottage homes there should crawl an idiot with lolling tongue and rolling eyes.”

There is a modern-day rhyme in the village of Monzie that regards Nevin;

“As long as the Shaggie rins crookit and bent
there’ll be a Witch o Mon-ie
And she’ll ne’er be kent”

I don’t know why she didn’t just turn herself into a bee and buzz off!

This is the Witches Stone – on the site of Kates burning. In reality it is a prehistoric standing stone and thousands of years older than the legend of poor Kate McNiven – which is a true tale.

High Bridestones

Black And White Photography, James, Photography

High Bridestones stone circle on the North Yorkshire Moors. Legend has it that a wedding party was lost on the bleak moors in a dense fog. They walked for that long, trying to find their way that they were eventually turned to stone.

The Track to Simons Seat

Black And White Photography, James, Photography

This old track leads across Barden moor in Wharfedale towards the rocky outcrop of Simons Seat.