As Samhain, now known as Halloween, approaches, please join us on a quest to discover cosmos and chaos in the fascinating landscape around Crawick and the outskirts of Sanquhar which has a very strong cultural connection through its story telling heritage with witchcraft, folklore and ancient religious beliefs linked to god and the devil.
In Celtic times Samhain was the biggest and most significant holiday of the Celtic year. The Celts believed that at the time of Samhain, more so than any other time of the year, the ghosts of the dead were able to mingle with the living, because at Samhain the souls of those who had died during the year traveled into the otherworld. Eventually Samhain became the Halloween we are familiar with when Christian missionaries attempted to change the religious practices of the Celtic people, however the beliefs associated with Samhain still live on as part of Halloween.
Later on in the 16th to the 18th century, people believed God created order and the Devil created chaos. Remote and wild areas often became associated with chaos while order is to be found in landscapes associated with buildings, gardens, parklands and the enclosures created during periods of agricultural improvement.
We will be exploring these landscape places and discussing the origins of the stories connected with witches, ghosts, murder and even the Devil himself and what the real purpose of these stories may have been.
What: With a sense of curiosity and adventure Professor David Munro will take us on a journey from the heart of Sanquhar to St Bride’s Church and its holy well, then on to Crawick with its forge, mill and massive railway viaduct. Entering the Holm woods, we follow the Crawick Water to the Witches Linn, a spot associated with witches and the Devil, before climbing up to the edge of Sanquhar Moor and back into town via what remains of the old brick works.”
Professor Munro is a geographer with expertise in landscape, mapping and places names, and has a keen interest in place names and their origins, as well as the environment and its future. He has got to know the landscape of Nithsdale well as geographer in residence at Drumlanrig Castle, archiving the estate maps and uncovering hidden stories and little known historical and geographical artefacts.
Professor Munro will be joined by Dr Jan Hogarth, an environmental artist passionate about connecting people with landscape and the forces of nature.
When and Where: Sunday 22nd October, meeting at 11am at A the Arts, Sanquhar. Please bring a packed lunch and be prepared for all weather conditions on our adventure.
To Book: Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or tel. 07801232229. Price £40 with reduced rate for artists and OAPs. Kids under 16 are free. Booking essential.