The Legend of the Water Horse

Sgeulachd an Each Uisge

On a warm summer evening a young maiden, wandering along the shores of Loch Assapol, was joined by a stranger. They sat down together, the stranger laying his head on the maiden’s lap where he fell asleep. As she carelessly ran her fingers through his hair, she discovered that it contained the green fungi of the loch. In horror, she realised it was the brutal water horse that lurked in the loch.

She fled towards the safety of the manse and as she ran, she looked back. Galloping after her was a beautiful grey steed and as she reached the manse it cried out “Next Sabbath, I will take you!”

The following Sunday the minister preached upon the grassy knoll above the loch. The nervous maiden thought that she would be safe hidden in the middle of the congregation. Suddenly the Each Uisge burst from the stormy water, charged through the horrified crowd, snatched her up and disappeared into the loch. The maiden was never seen again.

Storyteller Attie MacKechnie said of this legend, well known on the Ross, that it was told by parents to countless generations of children, to warn of the dangers of playing near water. At least one local lad remembered it gave him nightmares.

From A Guide to Walks in the District of Kilvickeon– based on interviews with and information from many local people – researcher Lynda MacCallum.

Photo above: Loch Assapol taken from Kilvickeon
Photos below: Looking towards Burg; haymaking at the manse in the last century; the manse and Loch Assapol today.

The Ross of Mull is an extraordinary microcosm of all that draws visitors to the Hebridean Islands. The scenery, as you travel along the single-track road from the ferry at Craignure is breath-taking. You experience in the many walks in the area a true sense of wilderness; the secret bays with their beaches of silvery sand, the abundance of wildlife and the innumerable marks on the landscape of the lives of past generations and communities long gone. The Ross of Mull is a compelling place for anyone fascinated by history and the ancient way of life of the Gaelic people.

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Ross of Mull Historical Centre
Millbrae Cottage
Bunessan
Isle of Mull
Argyll PA67 6DG

By Phone: 01681 700659
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