The stories and award-winning sculptures of Witch Corner are directly inspired by the writings and trail-blazing research of Sir Walter Scott of Abbotsford, one of Scotland’s greatest storytellers, collectors, and folklorists.
It takes its name from Scott’s nickname for his favourite section of the Abbotsford Library, his collection of 250 rare books about witchcraft, magic, folklore, and superstition. Our series of enchanting sculptures have been storyboarded by outdoor exploration experts Brilliant Trails in conjunction with Abbotsford’s Curator, and they have been realised by some of the most talented chain-saw artists working in the UK. Our aim is to enable visitors of all ages to engage with Scotland’s historical folk beliefs and literary past, inspired directly by Sir Walter Scott’s work, particularly the Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border (1802-3), The Lay of the Last Minstrel (1805) and Letters on Demonology and Witchcraft (1830).
The world of Abbotsford’s Witch Corner is an older world where fairies, elves, goblins, and other supernatural spirits could bring health and good fortune or wreak mischief and havoc on their human subjects as they saw fit. The trail brings Walter Scott’s passion for the legends of the Scottish Borders to life, a region with a tempestuous history and a rich and unique storytelling heritage bound up in its network of historic peel towers, abbeys, waterways, and forests. Sir Walter Scott’s great supernatural poem, the Lay of the Last Minstrel, is perhaps the region’s most famous literary export and it draws extensively upon this belief in magic, witchcraft, and otherworldly creatures.