1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Maree, Loch
MAREE, LOCH, a fresh-water lake in the county of Ross and Cromarty, Scotland. Its name—of which Maroy and Mourie are older variants—does not, as is often supposed, commemorate the Virgin, but St Maelrubha, who came from Bangor in Ireland in 671 and founded a monastery at Applecross and a chapel (now in ruins) on Isle Maree. Trending in a south-easterly to north-westerly direction, the lake has a length of 131⁄2 m. from Kinlochewe at the head of the dam erected in the 16th century (or earlier) by the iron-smelters of the Cheardach Ruardh, or Red Smiddy, on the short but impetuous river Ewe by which it drains to the sea. It lies as a height of 32 ft. above sea-level; the greatest breadth is just over 2 m. at Slattadale, the mean breadth being 9⁄10 of a mile; and the greatest depth, 367 ft., occurs in the upper basin, the mean depth being 125 ft. Its waters cover an area of fully 11 sq. m., and its islands nearly 1 sq. m., while the drainage area is 171 sq. m. A remarkable feature is the large number (more than 30) and considerable area of the islands. Excepting Loch Cròcach, a small lake in the Assynt district of Sutherlandshire, its insularity (i.e. the ratio of the total area of the islands to that of the total water surface) is higher than that of any other lake in Great Britain, Loch Lomond coming next. Nearly all the islands lie north and east of Slattadale, the largest being Eilean Subhainn, or St Swithin’s Isle, which contains a small lake 750 ft. long, 300 ft. broad and 64 ft. deep. For two-thirds of its length the loch is flanked by magnificent mountains. On the north-east the principal heights are Ben Slioch (3217 ft.), whose sugar-loaf form dominates the landscape, Ben Lair (2817) and Ben Airidh-a-Char (2593), and, on the south-west, the peaks of Ben Eay, four of which exceed 3000 ft.