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Romanticism and Historicism
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main image Rowan tree, Wester Kittochside, Lanarkshire
Rowan was believed to keep away witches and evil spirits. According to Graham; 'No farmer would omit to place the branch of rowan or elder tree, of ash or ivy, on the byre door to ward the cattle from blight or witchcraft.'

Belief in witchcraft persisted long enough for trials – and subsequent burnings of alleged witches – to still be taking place in the early 18th century. Even after the last burnings, there was still sufficient belief to make a rowan tree a worthwhile insurance measure.

Rowan trees also had more conventional uses. Their bright red berries were used to make a savory jelly.

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