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Witches Stone (Monzie)

Standing Stone / Menhir


"The standing stone is said to mark the site of Kate McNiven or MacNieven's, sometimes known as the witch of Monzie, execution. The story goes that she was put in a barrel and rolled down what is now known as Kate MacNieven's Craig on the north side of the Knock of Crieff before being burnt. Kate had been the nurse to the Grahams of Inchbrackie, and was accused of witchcraft, including turning herself into a bee. Graham of Inchbrackie tried to save her but to no avail, but as she was about to die it is said that she spat a bead from her necklace into his hand. The bead -a blue sapphire- was turned into a ring and it was believed that the ring would keep the family and lands secure. She did, however, curse the laird of Monzie, although whether this worked or not is not known. MacNiven or Nic Niven was also believed to be the name of the Queen of Fairies.

Indeed it is not clear whether Kate MacNiven was a real person or is a conflation of stories. There do not appear to be any contemporary records of her execution at or near Crieff, and dates for her unpleasant death are variously given as 1563, 1615 and 1715."

Magic and Witchcraft in Scotland

by Joyce Miller.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
9th November 2009ce

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