Plate XXVII., Loch-Eck, p.55.

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THIS beautiful fresh-water lake in Argyleshire, is about six miles in length, and scarcely half-a-mile in breadth, but from 60 to 70 fathoms in depth. It lies in the centre of Cowal, where that peninsula is narrowed by the approach of the upper parts of Loch-Long and Loch-Fyne to each other. The principal supply of water it receives is from the Cur. From its southern or lower extremity flows the Eachaig, which, after a short course of about two miles, falls into the Holy-Loch near Kilmun.

To the scenery around Loch-Eck the epithet of beautiful may, with much propriety, be applied. The mountains are not so lofty as in some other districts of the country; but they are all finely formed, and present a graceful and varied outline. Many of them are green to the top, and slope gently down towards the lake, while others are more precipitous and rocky; but throughout the whole, their aspect is singularly pleasant and interesting. There are no extensive woods near this lake; but its shores, particularly on the east side, are delightfully fringed with trees and copse. The road from Ardintenny to Strachur is carried for some miles along this side of the lake, and presents to the traveller a most agreeable succession of landscapes.

Near the head of Loch-Eck is a little round hill called Tom-a-Chorachasich, or ‘the hill of Chorachasich.’ The tradition with regard to this mount is, that a prince of Norway, or Denmark, having been defeated by the natives, was pursued, overtaken, and killed at this place, where his grave is pointed out. He is said, of course, to have been of gigantic stature, and is still called in Gaelic, An Corrachasach mhor, mac Righ Lochlan, ‘The great Corrachasach, son to the king of Denmark.’* Another tradition says that a battle was fought with the Norwegians, in a field near the head of Glen-Finnart, and within a short distance of Loch-Eck, where the Norwegians were defeated with great slaughter. The field is still called ‘the Field of Shells,’ rom the number of drinking-shells belonging to the slaughtered Norwegians said to have been found on it after the battle. This tradition, in all probability, alludes to an incursion made up Glen-Finnart by some Norwegians, from that part of Haco’s fleet which sailed up Loch-Long at the time he invaded Scotland in 1262; an invasion that terminated with the battle of Largs.

 

*  “Lochlann” according to John F. Campbell, in his collection of Gaelic Folklore, is given to mean “Scandinavia” in general.

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