There’s a Glaswegian link so stick with me.

In 1525, Gavin Dunbar, Archbishop of Glasgow, wrote a curse on the Border Reivers which was read out in all the parishes on either side of the Border, originally in beautiful Scots.

In 2001, part of the curse was inscribed on a huge round stone as part of a display in the Millennium Gallery of Carlisle’s Tullie House Museum, and shortly thereafter, the world went mad.

Carlisle suffered a series of disasters, from floods to foot and mouth. A local councillor claimed the stone was responsible and asked it be removed . The Bishop of Carlisle called the stone evil and asked that the current Archbishop of Glasgow, Mario Conti, would consider blessing the stone and lifting the curse. The council even discussed removing the stone – they decided against.

Except, Dunbar’s curse was against the Reivers (a murderous bunch if ever there was one, inclined to cattle theft, kidnapping, arson and blackmail) NOT against Carlisle, unless of course, there’s lots of guilty ancestral consciences there. And of course, the floods and foot and mouth affected a wider area than Carlisle.

This particular Glaswegian was fascinated and would have gone to see it on the way home from holiday, but since our son had kept us up till the early hours the night before, it was decided to continue north instead.

So in the end, Dunbar maybe attracted a few more visitors to Carlisle, but curses? Nah.

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