After years of dedicated hard work and research Orkney is about to see the unveiling of the memorial to the victims of the historic witchcraft trials on Saturday 9th of March.
The memorial erected by Orkney Heritage Society will be set at the top of Clay Loan, Kirkwall where those sentenced to death for witchcraft were executed.
Professor Liv Willumsen is the guest of honour for the day. Professor Willumsen was the original inspiration for the project which came from a lecture given by her in 2012. She had made comparisons between the witch trials in Northern Norway with those in Scotland, and spoke about the modern memorial at Steilneset in Finnmark, Norway.
A day of events will take place
10am in the Hub, King Street Halls, Kirkwall where musicians Kate Fletcher and Corwen Broch will teach attendees the song that was written at the October creative day.
St Magnus Players perform an extract from ‘Witch’ (written by George Mackay Brown and directed by Penny Aberdein).
Ashleigh Angus reads ‘Unknown, Unknown’, her award winning short story based on the Orkney witch trials.
11.30am St Rognvald’s Chapel, in the east end of St Magnus Cathedral. Ceremony of contemplation and reflection. Kate Fletcher and Corwen Broch play some background music of the historic period followed by Fran Flett Hollinrake playing her haunting composition: ‘Marwick’s Hole’ on fiddle.
12:15pm gathering outside the West End , to Gallow Ha’, along Victoria Street and up Clay Loan, to the historic execution site.
12:45pm, unveiling of the memorial as part of the inauguration ceremony. Music by Fletcher and Corwen Broch
2pm The Hub, King Street Halls, Kirkwall, an afternoon conference. Talks by Professor Liv Willumsen ,Jocelyn Rendall, Tim Morrison, Dan Lee, and Marita Luck.
Hot beverages and biscuits will be provided.
4:30pm, raffle – a selection of prizes including a bottle of Highland Park ‘Full Volume’ whisky, generously donated by Highland Park Distillery.
Everyone is welcome to attend all or some of the inauguration day events although some may not be suitable for young children and people of a sensitive disposition because of the subject matter.
The organisers are grateful for all donations and raffle prizes which they are still taking in.
The Orkney News has many past articles on this subject. Please use the search facility on our website to find out more.