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So, this is The Magic Money Tree – or at least, a magic money tree. This one was at Bolton Abbey, but curiously there was a story about one on the otherwise astonishingly dull Grand Tours of Scotland’s Lochs : Episode 2 – Shelter From the Storm.

The Scottish Magic Money Tree – ok, yes, I may just be struggling to with ethnic stereotypes here – is on an islands in Loch Maree. It seems to be linked to a holy well which was supposed to have curative powers, especially for people suffering from mental health problems and may be a type of “Wish Tree“, with the coins being a votive offering in an activity dating from pagan times. By placing your coin in the tree, you are effectively passing whatever ails you on to the tree. On the other hand, one of the oldest coins at Loch Maree was put there by Queen Victoria, to it may just be a tale that they tell to tourists.

Whatever it does for your health, it certainly doesn’t do the trees any good, because they inevitably die of copper poisoning.

Strange old world.