Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

St Margaret's Knot

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

St Margaret's Knot (S3x32) 3C set Lewis N Derrick 2004

1-8 The 1st and 2nd couples dance a double figure of eight across the dance; 1st couple cross down to begin, 2nd couple cast up
9-12 The 1st and 2nd couples change places by turning one and a half times on the sidelines (right hands men; left hands women)
13-16 The 1st and 3rd couples change places by turning one and a half times on the sidelines (left hands men; right hands women)
17-24 The 2nd, 3rd and 1st couples dance Inveran reels on the sidelines. The 2nd couple dance in and down, 3rd couple out and down and 1st couple cross in and up to begin; at the top of the set the 1st couple cross down to second place on own sides on bars 21-22
25-32 Taking nearer hands, the 1st couple dance up to the top, divide and cast off one place on their own sides, on bars 29-30 they dance in under arches formed by the 2nd and 3rd couples who join nearer hands on own sidelines, the 1st couple meet, taking nearer hands, dance down to third place, divide and cast out to own sidelines making a polite turn

Repeat twice more from new positions each time

(Dance Crib compiled by the deviser, Lewis N Derrick 2020)


Dance Notes

The original print publication indicated the couples wrongly for bars 17-24, this version is correct.

In the original publication two methods were proposed for forming the arches on bars 29-30.
This version with single-handed arches on the sidelines is correct.
On bar 32, the 1st couple make their polite turn by dancing just below third place and casting up into it.

(Dance Notes by the deviser, Lewis N Derrick)


Dance Information

This dance, St Margaret's Knot, was devised for two Dunedin dancing pals, Catherine and James Coutts on their wedding day, 18 June 2004 (they were married in St Margaret's Chapel, Edinburgh Castle).

This dance was published the same year by Dunedin Dancers in their newsletter Dunedinews.

Suggested tune: Roseacre (J. Scott Skinner).

Devised 2004; first published in Dunedinews October 2004; republished electronically 2020.

Copyright 2004, 2020 Lewis N. Derrick.


Saint Margaret of Scotland (c. 1045 - 1093), also known as Margaret of Wessex, was an English princess and a Scottish queen. Margaret was sometimes called "The Pearl of Scotland".

Born in exile in the Kingdom of Hungary, she was the sister of Edgar Ætheling, the short reigned and uncrowned Anglo-Saxon King of England. Margaret and her family returned to the Kingdom of England in 1057, but fled to the Kingdom of Scotland following the Norman conquest of England in 1066. By the end of 1070, Margaret had married King Malcolm III of Scotland, becoming Queen of Scots.

She was a very pious Roman Catholic, and among many charitable works she established a ferry across the Firth of Forth in Scotland for pilgrims travelling to St Andrews in Fife, which gave the towns of South Queensferry and North Queensferry their names.

Margaret was the mother of three kings of Scotland, or four, if Edmund of Scotland is counted, and of a queen consort of England. According to the Vita S. Margaritae Reginae, attributed to Turgot of Durham, she died at Edinburgh Castle in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1093, merely days after receiving the news of her husband's death in battle.

In 1250, Pope Innocent IV canonized her, and her remains were reinterred in a shrine in Dunfermline Abbey in Fife, Scotland.

St Margaret Of Scotland - Information Video

St Margaret's Chapel
St Margaret's Chapel, Edinburgh Castle


Dance information from The McGhie Scottish Country Dance Sheets #1, reproduced here with the kind permission of the deviser, Lewis N Derrick.
Dance information licensed under this Creative Commons Licence 3.0.
Text from this original Saint Margaret Of Scotland article on Wikipedia.
Image copyright Alan Findlay under this Creative Commons Licence 2.0.

Back to the top of this Scottish Country Dancing Instructions 'St Margaret's Knot' page