Inveterate criminals generally suffered torture before that death came to their relief, and the common saying that "hanging is too good for him" is just a relic of our ancestors’ way of thinking – and acting.The victim was enclosed in an iron barrel studded with spikes pointing inwards.Other times we’d take the 22 out to the terminus, then hike on down to the Sidlaws, basically tracing the steps of Martin chasing the dragon down the Strath.(That story my granny gave me I’m going to tell in "Tales and Legends" – and you can’t skip on ahead if you’re one of my installment readers on the Web at electricscotland.com, because I haven’t got to that section yet – even though the raw materials, and the pictures, and the memory prompters are all there waiting in "Section 12": this is Section 6, so we’ve got a wee bittie to go.)The Hilltown began as just that, Hill Town.He play’d "The Welcome o’er the Main," And "Ye’se be fou and I’se be fain," And "Auld Stuart’s back again," Wi’ muckle mirth and glee.He play’d "the Kirk," he play’d "The Queen." "The Mullin Dhu" and "Chevalier," And "Lang awa’ but welcome here," Sae sweet, sae bonnilie It’s some gat swords, and some gat nane, And some were dancin’ mad their lane’; And mony a vow o’ weir was ta’en That nicht at Amulrie.Not too far away from the castle was a children’s playground – with swings, a chute, (or slide), a maypole, and a merry go round that we’d try to get to go as fast as it could round and round and round by running and pushing and jumping on and enjoying the ride, holding on for dear life, and rejoicing that you weren’t one of the unfortunates who fell off and landed on the hard ground! )And, believe it or not, somehow or other I once got inside the castle – can’t remember if I paid for part of a tour, or just sneaked or charmed my way in – and got to see the "Spiked Maiden." I have no idea where I managed to get the Reverend Skinner’s great 1927 book of the Hilltown and Dundee.I’m just grateful I grabbed it to hold on to and be able to share Dundee with my family.
When closed the spikes passed through he body of the victim.
The Piper cam’ tae oor toon Tae oor toon, tae oor toon, The Piper cam’ tae oor toon, And he play’d a bonnie lee.
He play’d a sprig, the laird to please, A sprig brent new frae ‘yont the seas, And then he gi’ed his bags a squeeze, And he play’d another lee.
And as I read it now, not having sung it for many years, I realize this piper was a rebel.
A Jacobite, I’ll bet, and in his time the kind of person I’d probably like to hang our with!
He has a much better description of the Maiden than I could ever give you:…The public hanging on the Cragies Gallows belonged to milder days than those represented by the "Nurenburgh Maiden" exhibited in the museum at Dudhope Castle.