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The Well of Heads (Tobar nan Ceann)


The monument which stands by the roadside above this ancient well was erected in 1812, its gory carving of a hand holding a dagger and seven severed heads commemorating an incident that took place in 1665.

The well is said to have been the one in which the heads of seven murderers were washed in revenge for the killing of two of the Keppoch family. The two men were murdered by their own uncle Alasdair MacDonell because they stood in they way of him being the chieftain of the Keppoch MacDonalds. All those responsible were rounded up and beheaded, their severed heads being washed at the well before being presented to MacDonell of Glengarry at Glengarry castle.

Well of HeadsWell of HeadsThe tale seems to hold true as seven headless bodies were disinterred from a mound that was said to hold the murderers remains. This is a probable continuation of the Celtic practice of head veneration, and there are many other examples throughout Scotland.

The well is now dry, accessed via a narrow tunnel approached from descending steps under the 19th century monument.

Loch Oich has also been the scene of monster sightings, as have all the lochs along the Great Glen Fault.

Directions: To the South of Invergarry next to Loch Oich off the A82.

Authorship
Author: 
Daniel Parkinson

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