Lake of Menteith

From Academic Kids

The Lake of Menteith, or, until the last century, the Loch of Menteith, is the only natural or large body of water in Scotland that is referred to as a lake (although there are two small artificial bodies of water known as lakes). All other major bodies of water in Scotland are known as lochs. This unusual name is believed to be a corruption of the Scots Laich o Menteith, where "laich" simply means "low place". The lake is located on the Flanders Moss, the flood plain of the upper reaches of the rivers Forth and Teith, upstream of Stirling.

The are a number of small islands in the lake. On the largest is Inchmahome Priory, an ancient abbey. The priory served as refuge to Mary Queen of Scots, took refuge there in 1547. She was only four years old at the time and stayed for three weeks after the disastrous battle of Pinkie Cleugh in September of that year.

The lake is not particularly deep and can freeze over completely in exceptionally cold winters. If the ice becomes thick enough (10 inches) an outdoor curling tournament called the Bonspiel is held on the lake. The event can attract thousands of curlers despite its rarity. The last Bonspiel was held in 1979.

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