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Sacred Springs

50 51 The unusual monument over the Well of the Heads is found on the road south of Invergarry, beside attractive Loch Oich. A hand holding seven severed heads and a dirk a dagger worn by Highlanders surmounts the monument. It commemorates the revenge killing of the murderers of two young brothers, Ranald and Alexander McDonald. The seven men were hunted, killed and beheaded. Their heads were then washed in the well before being taken to Invergarry castle, as proof that they were dead. A different version of the story says that the heads were cooled in the water because their teeth were gnashing with rage. Celtic folklore is rich with stories involving the cutting off of heads, and well water often gushes out of the mouth of a carved face. A similar tradition persists in the mysterious figure of the Green Man, from whose head grows rich curling foliage. Nearby Nearby wells include St Ignatius Well at Glassburn, and St Marys Well in Culloden wood. This latter is also known as the Blue Well, or Well of Youth, and tradition says the water is turned to wine on 1st May. This was a great pilgrimage site, but later gatherings became rather riotous. There is also the rockhewn Holy Well at Burghead, and the incredible Cloutie Well at Munlochy, where thousands of colourful rags hang on lines between the trees by the well. WEll Of ThE hEADS Invergarry, Inverness, Scotland
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