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A Plea from the Heart ♥

April 29, 2014

This appeal, written by Jess Smith on this blog, came to my attention recently:

The Tinker’s Heart is a small arrangement of white quartz stones embedded in the ground at the junction between the road to Strachar (A815) and Hell’s Glen (B839) in Argyllshire.

For years it has stood as a testimony to the survival of Scotland’s Travelling people. A sacred place where couples wed, babies were christened and the dead blessed. In 1872 there is proof of two local people getting married there. There is no written evidence as to how old it is and like the oldest ballads that Burns listened to, it is all oral – no dates nor names. Reasons for the stones being placed there are associated with the Battle of Culloden and the Highland Clearances as well as the eradication of the Culture by removing children from campsites. It is sacred to my people from all over the world and needs to be  protected and restored.

An old picture of the heart-shaped arrangement of stones, taken from Fiona Tinker's blog

An old picture of the heart-shaped arrangement of stones, known as The Tinkers’ Heart and The Gypsy Wedding Place, taken from fionatinker‘s website

Concerned about the sorry state of the Heart – which is in private ownership and vulnerable to development – Jess has started a petition to Give the Tinkers’ Heart of Argyll back to the Travelling People and ensure its preservation and restoration.

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