Loch Glassy, Weem, Perthshire

Sacred Loch:  OS Grid Reference – NN 850528

Also Known as:

  1. Loch Glassie

Folklore

Here we have another case of another loch in Scotland that was said by local people to be inhabited by legendary water monsters.  In the tale which follows we may simply have a case of a very bad accident that was, in more superstious times, bestowed upon this legendary animal.  We may never know.  James Kennedy (1928) told the story, saying:

“It was inhabited, like Loch Derculich, by the ‘Each Uisge‘ of Icelandic origin.  On summer evenings it could be seen roaming at large on a green meadow adjacent to the tarn, and to all appearance a canny enough creature.  One summer Sunday afternoon, six Strathtay girls and a boy set out from their homes to inspect the ‘Each Uisge.’  They found him, patted him on the head and neck, and this kindness is apparently relished, for it lay on the sward and allowed them to sit on its back.  The boy, who had a semi-bald scabbed head, stood at a distance and watched developments.  He concluded that this animal was not the genuine horse it seemed to be, and thought that it grew considerably larger than it was at first.  When the Each has the six girls comfortably seated on its back, it suddenly rose, plunged into the loch, and drowned the lot.  The boy immediately took to his heels and the Each after him, but fear enabled the boy to outstrip the horse, who would stop now and again in the pursuit and cry, “Fuirich mo ghille maol carrach!  Fuirich mo ghille maol carrach!” — Stop, you bald scabbed-headed boy.  Ultimately the Each gave up the chase, and the boy, much frightened, got safely home and related all that happened on that eventful Sunday evening.  The parents of the girls found parts of their bodies floating on the waters of the loch, and the name Loch Lassie was given to it, which it retains to this day.”

References:

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

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

Loch Derculich, Dull, Perthshire

Sacred Loch:  OS Grid Reference – NN 864 549

Folklore

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.”

References:

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

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

Loch Derculich

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Loch Derculich 56.672590, -3.854375 Loch Derculich