Highlands & Islands

'Cursed' bell stolen from Lochaber's St Finan's Isle

Bell Image copyright Moidart History Group
Image caption The Medieval bell was secured to a hand-forged bronze chain

A historic bell has been taken from an island burial ground in the Highlands.

Police said the early-Medieval hand bell was stolen from uninhabited St Finan's Isle in Loch Shiel sometime over the past month.

For centuries since 661 AD, the island was a Christian burial ground and more recently became well-known as a location in the Harry Potter films.

Moidart History Group said the bell was reputed to be cursed and was last stolen by a soldier in the 1740s.

After his capture, he was flogged and the bell was returned to the island by his officers.

'Cultural value'

In the latest theft, a bolt cutter would have been needed to remove the bell from a heavy, hand-forged bronze chain.

Moidart History Group has appealed for help in finding the bell. It said the item had "great religious and cultural value".

Police Scotland said its inquiries were ongoing into the theft.

A spokesman said: "The bell was removed from the uninhabited island sometime between late June and early July.

"Anyone with information about the theft or the whereabouts of the bell is asked to call 101, quoting incident 2838 of July 18, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111."

Loch Shiel, and St Finan's Isle, also known as Eilean Fhianain or the Green Isle, appears as the Black Lake in the Potter movies.

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