Friday, 1 June 2007

Sunset over Lake of Menteith, Trossachs

The Lake of Menteith (Gaelic "Loch Innis MoCholmaig") is a loch on the Flanders Moss, the flood plain of the upper reaches of the rivers Forth and Teith, upstream of Stirling. It was the Loch of Menteith, until a 20th century English map-maker made a mistake and called it the Lake of Menteith!

The are a number of small islands in the loch. On the largest, Inchmahome, is Inchmahome Priory, an ancient monastery. The priory served as refuge to Mary Queen of Scots in 1547. She was only four years old at the time and stayed for three weeks after the disastrous Battle of Pinkie Cleugh in September of that year.

The loch is not particularly deep and can freeze over completely in exceptionally cold winters. If the ice becomes thick enough (10 inches) an outdoor curling tournament called The Bonspiel or the Grand Match is held on the loch. The event can attract thousands of curlers despite its rarity. The last Grand Match was held in 1979.

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