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Memorial to executed witches unveiled

Nov. 16, 2012 at 1:13 AM

CROOK OF DEVON, Scotland, Nov. 16 (UPI) -- The owner of a Scottish castle has created a memorial to 11 witches executed in 1662 after being convicted at courts run by his predecessors.

The memorial at Tullibole Castle in Perthshire is a maze in the form of a circle 100 feet in diameter with 2,000 beech trees planted, The Scotsman reported. A large sandstone pillar at the center of the maze carries the names of the 11 people who died.

Rhoderick Moncrieff, Baron Moncrieff of Tullibole, paid for the memorial. He said it will help visitors to the castle, now a bed and breakfast and event venue, learn the history of the witch persecution.

"It is my hope that the memorial will also question our understanding of the past and issues of blame and judgment in modern-day society," he added.

William Halliday and his son, John, presided over five courts in 1662 in the Crook of Devon witch trials. Those executed were Agnes Murrie, Bessie Henderson, Isabella Rutherford, Robert Wilson, Bessie Neil, Margaret Lister, Agnes Brugh, Janet Paton of Crook of Devon, Janet Paton of Kilduff, Janet Brugh and Christian Grieve.

The oldest part of the current castle was built in 1608 by John Halliday. The Moncrieffs acquired the property in the 18th century.

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