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Cauldshiels Loch

This stretch of water in the Scottish Borders has a ‘Water Bull’ Tarbh Uisge legend attached to it. The American author Washington Irving (April 3, 1783 – November 28, 1859) visited the loch accompanied by Sir Walter Scott (15 August 1771 – 21 September 1832) and wrote about the visit in his book The Crayon Miscellany under the 'Abbotford and Newstead Abbey' story published 1835.

"The most interesting circumstance connected with it, however, according to Scott, was that it was haunted by a bogle in the shape of a water bull, which lived in the deep parts, and now and then came forth upon dry land and made a tremendous roaring that shook the very hills. This story had been current in the vicinity from time immemorial: - there was a man living who declared he had seen the bull, - and he was believed by many of his simple neighbours."

There is also a legend that a ‘Water Horse’ or Kelpie (Scottish) lives in Cauldshiels Loch. This is reputedly a ‘shape-shifting spirit in the form of a horse that lures the unsuspecting to their death by drowning’.

Simon Topham

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