Maggie Wall—The Witch Who Never Was
A remarkable and striking B-listed roadside cross in Perthshire in Scotland is painted with the words
AS A WITCH 1657′
Maggie Wall has subsequently become the most famous witch in Scotland, featuring in folklore, folk history and modern pagan belief alike.
Which is strange, seeing as she never existed.
This is the story of the Witch Who Never Was. More
It is one of the most astonishing monuments in the British Isles, never mind Scotland. Deep in the Perthshire countryside stands a cairn of boulders topped with a tall, spindly cross, the stones painted with the stark words:
1657 as a Witch
There is nothing like it anywhere: a historic monument to a named witch. There is, it is true, the occasional plaque here and there in Scotland to the events of the witchcraft era; but these are modern remembrances, created out of modern sensibilities. The Maggie Wall monument, by contrast, is old.
And it is mysterious. Questions abound. Who was Maggie Wall? What happened to her? Why, of all the witches executed, does she alone have a monument? Why is there a cross on the top? Is the monument a sepulchre (that is, it marks a place of burial) or a cenotaph (a memorial without a grave)? Who built it? When? And why?
Geoff Holder digs deep to find answers.