Scottish Daily Mail
Sacrilege! Some busybody’s trashed our 1,400-year-old shrine ... by tidying it up
SUPERSTITION would have it that it should be left untouched for fear of a Celtic curse.
But one unidentified woman had no qualms at all about clearing up the ancient Clootie Well in Munlochy, Inverness-shire.
Visitors to the site would in the past take a ‘cloot’ – Scots for a piece of cloth – and tie it to a nearby tree after dipping it in the ‘healing well’. The belief was that as the cloth faded away, so too would an illness or affliction.
But in recent years there has been controversy after all manner of non-biodegradable clutter, from old shoes to household items and even knickers, were left at the well, which is thought to date from around 620AD.
John Stott, of Knockbain Community Council, which previously carried out ‘sensitive’ cleanups, said: ‘Some of the stuff that was there when we tidied it before was really off the wall.
‘I’m not going to say I’m pleased that somebody has cleared it but if it’s cleared now, then people do the right thing, it could be better.
‘It’s quite strange that somebody has taken it upon themselves to do it. I would guess that they’re not local, maybe they don’t understand the tradition. Most local folk are scared to clear it just in case they get a bad vibe.’
One local wrote on social media that her daughter was upset a cloth she had left was removed. Another said: ‘This is an important part of our heritage that’s loved and respected.’