A NATIONAL memorial remembering those accused of witchcraft in Scotland is one step closer to becoming a reality.
Positive meetings have now taken place with the relevant parties, with the intended location being a proposed eco-therapy and wellness park in Fife.
Called St Ninians, the site would be developed by National Pride at Loch Fifty, near Kelty.
As well as local councillors, trustees of the registered charity Remembering the Accused Witches of Scotland (RAWS) attended the site.
RAWS aims to raise awareness of the over 4,000 individuals who were accused of being witches in Scotland, some of them killed, between the 16th and 18th centuries.
They have campaigned extensively for a national memorial to be erected, which has been supported fully by National Pride.
Andy Whitlock from National Pride UK said: “Before we look to take the next steps on hosting a national memorial for those accused witches, we will seek to engage extensively on the potential design for this.
“As an Eco-Therapy Park accessible to the public, St Ninians Wellness will be a place of nature-based healing and we fully agree with those who have identified it as a fitting location for such a memorial.”
More than 2,500 Scots, predominately women, were executed under the Witchcraft Act of 1563.
The issue was recently discussed in Holyrood as Parliament marked International Women’s Day.
First Minister Nicola Strugeon said in the chamber: “Those who met this fate were not witches, they were people, and they were overwhelmingly women.
“At a time when women were not even allowed to speak as witnesses in a courtroom, they were accused and killed because they were poor, different, vulnerable, or in many cases, just because they were women.”
The Scottish Government also issued a formal apology to all those persecuted under the Act.
RAWS Trustee Elizabeth McMann commented: “We set out to get a pardon from the state, an apology from the church, and a memorial to commemorate the accused witches in Scotland, as well as those throughout the world.
“Having visited St Ninians, we believe that this is an ideal place to put the much-desired memorial and it is especially relevant as a location given the major role that Fife played in pursuing those accused of witchcraft.”
National Pride hopes to make St Ninians a health, wellness and leisure destination that is both environmentally sensitive and ecologically friendly.
Plans for the overall site are expected to be presented to Fife council soon.
Sara Kelly, co-founder of RAWS added: “St Ninians would be the ideal location, it is highly accessible, and is somewhere that anyone who is interested could visit on a regular basis.
“Educating the general public and school children as part of this is also very important to us.”