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Witches Stone (Monzie)

Standing Stone / Menhir

<b>Witches Stone (Monzie)</b>Posted by GLADMANImage © Robert Gladstone
Also known as:
  • Monzie Castle
  • Witches' Stone

Nearest Town:Crieff (3km SSW)
OS Ref (GB):   NN879243 / Sheets: 52, 58
Latitude:56° 23' 51.32" N
Longitude:   3° 48' 58.98" W

Added by scotty

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<b>Witches Stone (Monzie)</b>Posted by postman <b>Witches Stone (Monzie)</b>Posted by postman <b>Witches Stone (Monzie)</b>Posted by postman <b>Witches Stone (Monzie)</b>Posted by postman <b>Witches Stone (Monzie)</b>Posted by GLADMAN <b>Witches Stone (Monzie)</b>Posted by BigSweetie <b>Witches Stone (Monzie)</b>Posted by BigSweetie <b>Witches Stone (Monzie)</b>Posted by BigSweetie <b>Witches Stone (Monzie)</b>Posted by BigSweetie <b>Witches Stone (Monzie)</b>Posted by BigSweetie <b>Witches Stone (Monzie)</b>Posted by scotty <b>Witches Stone (Monzie)</b>Posted by scotty


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If you go to the local municipal buildings in Creiff and look up unusual laws and charters, you'll find it's actually illegal to not visit this stone if your visiting the circle and rock art.
But it is no hardship, it is only a minutes bike ride down the lane towards the castle.
The stone, about five foot tall, has weird striations, strange patterns on it from when the rock was formed. The world has been doing rock art for billions of years.
Most of the surroundings here are agricultural in nature, but the hills are not far away, The Knock of Creiff is very close, and off in the distant west are the mountains that surround Loch Earn, like Ben Vorlich and Beinn Leabhain.
Remember if your here to see the circle it is an offence not to go and see the Witches stone, which stone , that one there.
Sorry, that was lie.
postman Posted by postman
23rd July 2013ce
Edited 23rd July 2013ce

This standing stone stands to the north-west of the Monzie stone circle, linked by the castle drive which meanders in an S-shape between these ancient monuments. In 1936 the stone stood "in the middle of a causeway 6 yds wide, like a Roman road" but there is no visible evidence of this now. Also disappeared is a possible barrow immediately the to the south-east of the stone, which has presumably been ploughed away. The stone leans heavily to the north, away from Kate McNieven's Craig which points towards the Witches' Stone from the Knock of Crieff. BigSweetie Posted by BigSweetie
2nd July 2003ce

Just along the drive from the cairn is this 5ft single stone. No markings to speak of but still worth a visit. The stone stands on the remains of a 70m causeway and leans to the NW. Posted by scotty
27th February 2003ce
Edited 3rd July 2003ce


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"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

Kate McNieven is supposedly the witch who gave her name to the stone, although there are some doubts about her existence. Tradition has it that the Craig is where she was burned (for turning herself into a bee and buzzing around the head of Graham, laird of Inchbrakie). She is supposed to have been one of the last witches burned in Scotland, but one account has her being burned as early as 1563, while another says that she was burned in St Andrews. BigSweetie Posted by BigSweetie
2nd July 2003ce

The witch the stone was named after was Kate MacNiven, a local woman who was burned at the stake here in front of a reported huge crowd of locals. Scotland comes 2nd only to Germany in the witch burning super-leage. The only difference being we Choked them first so they wouldn't suffer. Thoughtful don't you think? Posted by scotty
27th February 2003ce
Edited 27th February 2003ce


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Directions - Head W from Perth on the A85 towards Crieff. Before reaching Crieff is the village of Gilmerton. Turn right here onto the A822 (sign-posted Dunkeld & Aberfeldy) and head up the hill. Shortly after leaving Gilmerton is a road to the left to Monzie and the Glenturret Distillery / Famous Grouse Experience. Take this road, and after a short distance you will see the (unmissable!) gatehouse for Monzie Castle on your left. Park sensibly here, and ask at the gatehouse for permission to walk to the stone. Monzie circle is approximately 200m down the track, set just back from the track on your right. Carry on down the track past the circle for another 200m, and you will see the stone in the field to your left. BigSweetie Posted by BigSweetie
2nd July 2003ce


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Megalithic sites of Perthshire - Witches' Stone page

Photos & information
BigSweetie Posted by BigSweetie
2nd July 2003ce
Edited 2nd July 2003ce

Scottish Megaraks' unofficial rock art tour - September 2002

View the Scottish Megaraks' visit to the Witches' Stone
BigSweetie Posted by BigSweetie
2nd July 2003ce
Edited 2nd July 2003ce