Monday 12 April 2010

Loch Quoich water horse?

Loch Quoich(Gaelic Loch Cuaich) is about 24 miles northwest of Fort Williams in Scotland. With Loch Garry it forms part of the Glen Garry hydroelectric project from the 1950s which was completed in 1962.The dam built on Loch Quoich is the largest rock fill dam in Scotland at 960 feet( 310 metres) long and 114 feet ( 35 metres) high. The dam flooded some of the old settlements in the area, including Glen Quoich Lodge. A single-track road goes along the loch shore to Kinloch. The fishing there is by boat only and it is mainly for brown trout and Char.

The loch is said to be home for a water monster described as a large serpent like creature with a horse like head. It is typical description for a Kelpie or water horse.

The Duke of Portland related that after becoming tenant of the salmon angling in Loch Quoich was told by the forester, hotel keeper and fishing ghillies of a beast . I think this was in the late 1800s, but have been unable to find and exact date.

In Peter Costello,s book “In Search of Lake Monsters” (1975 ed Granada Publishing ltd page 153) , is the following story. I have paraphrased it.

A certain lord, not named, ( n.b.I wonder if this was also the Duke of Portland?) used to fish in Loch Quoich and one day whilst fishing there, he saw a monster lying on the shore close to the water. He swore the two ghillies with him to secrecy in case people thought they were drunk. A fishing party is said to have seen the monster swimming under the water the same time period (no date given).

In the Northern Chronicle newspaper in 1933 there were reported some stories about the Loch Quoich creature but there were not substantiated , so could have simply been rumours after the reports in 1933 of the Loch Ness creature.

The Loch is quite isolated and it could be that any reports of anything seen in the loch were hushed up by the local dignitaries. It could just be the usual folktales of the Kelpie. There doesn’t seem to be any historical record of tales about a kelpie though. If anyone knows any more about this isolated Loch please post.

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