Thieves who swiped priceless medieval bell from remote island that featured in Harry Potter films could have CURSED themselves

The stolen bell. See SWNS story SWSCbell. Thieves who stole a priceless medieval bell from a remote island which featured in the Harry Potter films may have unwittingly put a CURSE on themselves, historians warned. The tiny island, St Finan’s Isle, in Loch Shiel, near Fort William, Scottish Highlands, has been a burial ground since 661 AD and was the setting for the ‘Black Lake’ in the Harry Potter film series. Until four years ago it was barely visited by tourists, but in recent years kayakers have begun to visit in droves. Apart from graves, there is just a roofless chapel on the island, with the alter stone holding a bell dating back more than 1,000 years.
Have thieves who stole a priceless medieval bell from a remote island which featured in the Harry Potter films unwittingly put a CURSE on themselves? (Picture: SWNS)

It might be worth a lot, but a priceless medieval bell stolen from a remote island which featured in the Harry Potter films could have put a CURSE on the thieves who took it.

The bell, which dates back more than 1,000 years, was taken from the tiny island of St Finan’s Isle, in Loch Shiel, near Fort William in the Scottish Highlands.

The island, where famous monk St Finan died in 661AD, has been a burial ground since 661 AD and was the setting for the ‘Black Lake’ in the Harry Potter film series.

Other than graves, there is just a roofless chapel on the island with an altar stone holding the historic bell, which historians say comes with a curse if anyone takes it off the island.

The missing bell stood on the altar – seen at the very back of this photograph – in the ruined chapel on St Finan’s Isle. See SWNS story SWSCbell. Thieves who stole a priceless medieval bell from a remote island which featured in the Harry Potter films may have unwittingly put a CURSE on themselves, historians warned. The tiny island, St Finan’s Isle, in Loch Shiel, near Fort William, Scottish Highlands, has been a burial ground since 661 AD and was the setting for the ‘Black Lake’ in the Harry Potter film series. Until four years ago it was barely visited by tourists, but in recent years kayakers have begun to visit in droves. Apart from graves, there is just a roofless chapel on the island, with the alter stone holding a bell dating back more than 1,000 years.
The bell was in a ruined chapel on St Finan's Isle but has been taken (Picture: SWNS)

A spokesman for the Moidart History Group said: “There is a curse on whoever takes the bell off the island.”

He said the bell was stolen by a British soldier in the 1740s but returned after a chase along the 17-mile long Loch Shiel and returned after the thief was slogged.

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"A similar bell was stolen from Fortingall Church in Perthshire in 2017 – so was St.Finan’s bell stolen to order?,” the spokesman said.

“It has no monetary value but is of great religious and historical value and has huge significance for the local population.

“It is immensely sad that someone has no regard or respect for the feelings of local people and has seen fit to steal the bell for his or her own profit or perverted pleasure.”

Preview event celebrating the launch of the Harry Potter Invisibility Cloak, at Kings Cross Station. Wizarding World Inspired Invisibility Cloak from Wow! Stuff and Warner Bros. Consumer Products Unveiled. Appear to disappear with the all-new Harry Potter Invisibility Cloak. Credit: JOR/Capital/MediaPunch ** North America Only*** /IPX
The island featured in the Harry Potter film series (Picture: JOR/Capital/MediaPunch ** North America Only*** /IPX)

It is believed that the thief would have needed heavy bolt cutters as the chain that attached the bell to the altar was replaced by a hand-forged bronze chain in 2017.

A spokesman for Police Scotland said: “Enquiries are ongoing into the theft of an historic bell from St Finan's Isle in Loch Shiel, Lochaber.

“The bell was removed from the uninhabited island sometime between late June and early July.”

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