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Orkney Witchcraft Trials Memorial: Inauguration Day – Saturday 9th March 2019

You are all warmly invited to join us at our inauguration day events to unveil the memorial to the historic victims of the witchcraft trials, an Orkney Heritage Society project.
(For more details on the project see here.)


All events are free of charge and open to all – although you may wish to exercise your own judgement as to whether they are suitable for young children or those of a nervous disposition (unlike our earlier creative day, the inauguration day has not been designed to be specifically family-friendly and some of the details of the trials are harrowing to listen to).

Our event starts at The Hub at King Street Halls, Kirkwall at 10am (this is our ‘base’ for the day). We will be treated to an excerpt from George Mackay Brown’s play ‘Witch’ by the St Magnus Players, Ashleigh Angus will read her award winning short story, and Kate Fletcher and Corwen Broch will teach us their song which was written at our creative day back in October.
For a sneak preview of these songs and stories see our Witchcraft Memorial Resources page.

We then walk to St Magnus Cathedral for a reflective memorial service in St Rognvald’s chapel, with more music, starting about 11:30am. This ‘service’ is designed to be contemplative and accessible for people of all faiths and none.

About 12:15pm, we will gather together outside the west end of St Magnus Cathedral, before making our own way along Victoria Street and up Clay Loan to Gallow Ha’. This is a reflective walk along the route that the condemned may have taken – public shaming was an intrinsic part of the execution of those accused, and this would have meant the victims having to walk past their friends and neighbours to their deaths.

There will be some people driving directly from the cathedral to Gallow Ha’ up Palace Road, so please do ask if you might need a lift.

About 12:45pm, we should arrive at Gallow Ha’ at the top of Clay Loan for our unveiling of the memorial. We will ask for volunteer readers and we will finish by singing together the song taught to us earlier by Kate and Corwen, Chase The Cold Winter Away Again, this ritual is designed to be accessible for those of all faiths and none. Please note that we are specifically not looking for acts of contrition nor to place blame, but rather to consider how we might as individuals ensure that such injustice does not happen again.

After a short break for lunch, we meet again at the Hub at King Street Halls at 2pm, for an afternoon of academic lectures about the historic witchcraft trials.

We will finish by 5.00pm. In true Orkney tradition, we will be selling raffle tickets throughout the day and drawing the raffle about 4:45pm – our main prize is a bottle of Highland Park ‘Full Volume’ whisky kindly donated by the distillery themselves.

Whilst at the Hub, in the morning and afternoon, complimentary teas, coffees, and biscuits will be provided, but please make your own arrangements for lunch – you are welcome to bring your own food and eat at the Hub.

We do hope many of you will be able to come along. You don’t have to come for all of it, just the parts which are of interest to you.

We are inviting donations to the project or prizes for the raffle. Here are some of the prizes already donated:

Have your say! SSEN Project Consultation Event – Kirkwall – Wed 6 Feb 2019

Keep Orkney Green AND Beautiful!

Scottish & Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) are holding a consultation event in Kirkwall on Wednesday 6 February, at [location]

We encourage you to attend to this consultation to air your views on the project. Orkney Heritage Society have made it clear in previous posts that the planned works show a wilful disregard for the landscape in which the people of Orkney live. We feel that he overriding concern of the developers has been to keep costs to an absolute minimum regardless of visual impact on the environment.

In addition OHS are concerned that previous consultations and presentations by SSEN have shown minimal information, misleading graphical representations of visual impact of the proposals, and little in the way of genuine consultation with the local population.

Proposed Finstown Sub-station

To see how your location will be impacted and for more detail on the proposed works, including maps showing the proposed routes of overhead power lines and locations of sub-stations, CLICK HERE

Please view the detail on the proposals and make your opinions known to SSEN via their website:

Also please complete an opinion poll set up by OHS:…/viewform

SSEN Orkney Project Consulation – Have your say – OHS Opinion Poll


Orkney Heritage Society see SSEN’s (Scottish & Southern Electricity Networks) proposed works as a threat to Orkney’s heritage. The current proposals to create an Orkney electricity transmission network would see miles of tall poles and a very obtrusive electricity substation near Finstown.

We are in favour of renewable energy and a properly designed network to export this energy out of Orkney. Climate change is one of the greatest threats to Orkney’s heritage and we fear the world – and Orkney – is running out of time to combat it.

OHS has launched an online opinion poll on SSEN’s Orkney Project.

By clicking on this link you can enter your views via the OHS Opinion Poll on the SSEN consultation exercise and also on the project itself. OHS will use the responses it gets to ensure its representations remain well grounded.

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