Loch Derculich, Dull, Perthshire

Sacred Loch:  OS Grid Reference – NN 864 549


Although this upland loch is today renowned as little more than a decent fishing spot, the waters here were long known to be haunted and the abode of a legendary water spirit.  In local tradition, the loch is said to be named after “an ancient Chief of Pictish origin” — whose burial mound is nearby — and in James Kennedy’s (1928) fascinating folklore work he also told that,

“Loch Dereculich was the habitation of a ‘Tarbh Uisge’ (water bull), the dangerous water demon… This dreaded monster, as the Norwegian peasant will gravely assure a traveller, demands every year a human victim, and carries off children who stray too near its abode… Less than one hundred and twenty years ago, the Loch Derculich Water Bull was seen sauntering along its shores.  At peat-making times it was observed very frequently.”


  1. Kennedy, James, Folklore and Reminiscences of Strathtay and Grandtully, Munro Press: Perth 1928.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

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