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Folklore

Concealed sock charm

Period:
18th Century
Description:

Discovered during alterations to the cottage in 1994, this sock stuffed with thistle and burr heads, was found in the gable end where the chimney once was.  The sock is blackened with soot and it is believed to have been concealed in or near the chimney as a charm of some sort.

 

The sock belongs to a tradition of concealing objects in buildings.  Shoes are the most common object and these are often found hidden under floor boards and in wall voids.  Shoes are associated with good luck and a hidden shoe may have acted as a spirit trap to catch malevolent entities threatening households.  A thistle-stuffed sock made an effective trap and would have deterred most evil spirits.

Place of Production:
Kirkmaiden
Materials/Media:
wool, thistle, burr heads
Dimensions:
L:220mm; H:130mm
Source:
Stranraer Museum
Accession number:
WIWMS 2002.29
Digital Number:
SROG002n
Copyright:
Dumfries & Galloway Council