More riveting facts fiction & myths about Inverness and Loch Ness
Continuing the series of riveting, factual and fictional snippets of information from around Loch Ness and Inverness. See part one
Did you know? The artist George Bain, known as the father of Celtic Design lived in Drumnadrochit for many years after marrying a local girl. The house where they lived can be seen perched high on the slopes near Drumnadrochit and the former manse house where he had his school of Celtic design is now the Benleva hotel. George Bain also designed the plaque that is on the Cobb’s Memorial Cairn.
Did you know? In the Moray Firth, just north of Inverness is home to the worlds most northerly pod of Bottle Nose Dolphins. Over 130 of them are resident in the firth and they can grow up to 4 meters long and fatter than most other dolphin species due to the cold water of the firth. The dolphins can often be seen close to the shore leaping and hunting salmon as the tide moves through the narrows in the firth. Other species like Harbour porpoises, Risso’s, White beaked dolphins and even Humpbacked and Fin whales have been spotted in local waters making the Moray Firth one of the best dolphin and whale watching areas in the UK.
Did you know? Legends of Loch Ness-side records that at one time the Great Glen in which the loch now lies was a place of rich pasture, a land of milk and honey with plenty of corn, fish, deer and game for its numerous people. In the Glen there was a well which had been blessed by Daly, the Druid, under the condition that whosoever drew water from the well must always replace its cover. Many years later a woman was drawing water from the well when she heard that her child had fallen into the fire. The poor mother immediately rushed home forgetting to replace the well’s cover. The water of the well overflowed and flooded the whole glen and the escaping inhabitants lamented “The loch nis ann” (there is a lake now). From this saying (nis is pronounced Neesh in Gaelic) Loch Ness took its name. Source: A Brief History of Foyers by the late Gordon Wilson
Did you know? Divach Falls on the edge of Drumnadrochit drops over 30m (100feet). The falls have inspired artists and authors. The artist John Phillips painted the falls & the painting now hangs in Buckingham Palace. The Falls were also possibly responsible for the first tourism in the area.
Did you know? In 1895 the North British Aluminium Company started to make use of the River Foyers to generate the electricity needed to process aluminium at Foyers, South Loch Ness. All materials were transported to and from Foyers by boat and a light railway was built to connect the works and a wharf. Aluminium production at Foyers ceased in 1967: though the plant was then used for a while to build narrow boats for English canals. In 1973 the power generation equipment was enlarged and upgraded and the ex-aluminium plant now serves as a hydro electric power station feeding the national grid.
Did you know? High above the village of Inverfarigaig there is a large hill fort dating back to the Iron Age. The fort known as Dun Dearduil, is sited on a crag about 925 feet above sea level overlooking Loch Ness and the surrounding countryside and was probably built by Celts some time around 700BC as a defensive structure. At the beginning of the last century Dun Dearduil was excavated and found to be partly vitrified. This means that some of the stones it had been built with had melted and become like glass. Originally, the fort would have been surrounded by a thick stone and timber wall and there are still traces of a separate enclosure which might have been used for cattle.
Did you know? Sometime in the 11th century, the story goes, a Viking prince called Monie landed in Argyll, accompanied by an army of men and his sister. The Scots were having none of it, and he was pursued northwards until he finally reached a rocky crag in what is now Drumnadrochit near Loch Ness, visible for miles around. Though he and his companions bravely held their own, they were eventually defeated and Monie was killed. Craig Monie, as that rocky crag is called, is a local landmark still – so prominent that a gibbet once stood there as a sombre warning for wrongdoers.
Did you know? Baxter’s Loch Ness Marathon regularly have Twenty-five nationalities represented in the event with athletes from as far afield as Australia, New Zealand, India, Japan, Russia, South Africa, USA & Inverfairgaig.
Did you know? Brown trout exist in large numbers in Loch Ness and are regularly caught at lengths between 6″ and 10″ or 15cm to 25cm. Some turn cannibal and grow much larger, easily attaining weights of 12 lbs (5.3Kg). These are known as ferrox trout. (please note – if this inspires you to grab a rod and reel and try your hand at fishing, the season runs from the 15th of March to the 6th of October). See our fishing page
Did you know? Northeast of the village of Dores is Drumashie Moor, where Fingal and his Gaels fought a battle against A’ishidh (Ashie) and his Norsemen. The battle is said to haunt the moor where ghostly columns of soldiers and horsemen march on the moor and silently enact the battle just after dawn on May 1st.
Do YOU have any facts or legends or trivia about Loch Ness that you would like to share?
Let us know!