Long, long ago, in the days when the Great Glen held it’s deepest valley, before Urquhart castle was even a thought. The valley’s steep sides had pathways that wound up and down and around them. A large number of people had settled – perhaps some of our Urquhart ancestors before the name of Urquhart was even spoken – and took advantage of it’s abundant food and resources. It was a fertile valley which made life easy.
These fortunate people also had a magical well, a spring which Daly the Druid had made magical, which brought forth healing waters for all ills. There was a condition placed on using this magical well – after each use, the cover had to be placed back upon the well lest the well rise up and destroy the valley.
Alas, one day, a mother had removed the cover from the well and was drawing the magical water. Her baby started to cry and when she heard, like all good mothers, she went to her child’s aid. In her speed to do so, she neglected to replace the cover upon the magic well and although she may have had all intentions of doing so, by the time she realized she had left the cover off unattended, the well had turned into a roaring fountain of water, gushing forth water with such force that she had no option but to run with her baby, clambering up the sides of the valley.
The other settlers, seeing and hearing the great commotion and roaring of the water, also took to the paths up out of the valley, knowing that all was now lost. Their homes, possessions, but they escaped, all escaped I believe.
One of those who escaped, looking back at their great valley filling with water almost as fast as they could climb, cried out in disbelief and anguish “Tha loch ann a nis!” – which means “There is a lake in it now!” That great valley of the Great Glen, draws it’s name from those words “Loch ann a nis”: Loch Ness.
So, all I can say is this, if your over by Urquhart Castle having a look for Nessy, remember those waters around the Urquhart stronghold have magical healing properties, as I cannot find any reference to that healing well ever being covered again. So if you are feeling crook, dip your toe in and see if it helps. Would not advise drinking the water from around Urquhart castle, as the peat bogs the lochs’ water runs over puts a lot of small debris into the water, which affects the sonar of ships. So Nessie may still be hidden in the waters around Urquhart Castle.
But, getting back to Urquhart Castle, that magical well and the careless action of that mother in haste, produced the landscape and loch that Urquhart Castle took advantage of – in fact, you could say the magical well was responsible for Urquhart Castle ever being built there!