Proposed eco-therapy park could host memorial for those accused of witchcraft

A memorial dedicated to those accused of witchcraft is a step closer following a visit to a proposed eco-therapy wellness and leisure park development being undertaken by National Pride UK at St Ninians, near Kelty in Fife.

National Pride directors, Irene Bisset and Andy Whitlock, hosted representatives from Remembering the Accused Witches of Scotland (RAWS) and local councillors to the site of its proposed project at the location of the former opencast coal mine.

RAWS is a charity which aims to raise awareness of the over 4,000 individuals accused of witchcraft by the church and state in Scotland between the 16th and 18th centuries and to campaign for a national memorial to be erected to memorialise and pay respect to those accused and killed.

The visit follows National Pride’s recent declaration of support for a memorial to be built at St Ninians.

The group looked at potential locations at the site and discussed the campaign, which follows the Scottish Government’s posthumous apology to the thousands of people persecuted as witches.

National Pride UK plans to make St Ninians an ‘ecologically friendly and environmentally sensitive’ health, wellness and leisure destination.

Andy Whitlock from National Pride UK, said, “We were proud to host Remembering the Accused Witches of Scotland and local councillors at St Ninians. 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.”

Elizabeth McMann, trustee of RAWS, added, “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.”

Sara Kelly, co-founder of RAWS, commented, “St Ninians is a beautiful site and you can see its immense potential to host such a memorial. It fits in very much with our ethos of communities, the environment and that the people who we want to be remembered are in a respectful and beautiful place.”

National Pride (St Ninians) Ltd will shortly bring forward proposals to Fife Council for the development of the overall site.