1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/St Mary's Loch

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ST MARY'S LOCH, a fresh-water lake of Selkirkshire, Scotland. It lies in the high land towards the western border, and is visited from Selkirk (16 m. E. by N.) or Moffat (15 m. S.W.). It is 814 ft. above the sea, is from 80 to 90 ft. deep, 3 m. long, about 1 m. wide at its widest, and has a shore-line of 7½ m. A narrow isthmus divides its head from the small Loch of the Lowes (about 1 m. long), which is believed to have been once part of it, the difference of level being only 15 in. St Mary's is emptied by the Yarrow, and its principal feeder is Megget Water, a noted angling stream. It takes its name from St Mary's Kirk, the ruins of which lie near the northern shore. From the 13th century, when the church is first mentioned, till its destruction in 1557, it was variously known as the Forest Kirk (in which William Wallace was elected Warden of Scotland), St Mary's of Farmainishope, an old name of the adjoining lands of Kirkstead, St Mary of the Lowes, and the Kirk of Yarrow. It had been partly restored, but gradually fell into decay, its place being taken by the church of Yarrow farther down the vale. In the graveyard was buried John Grieve (1781-1836), the Edinburgh hatter, a poet of some capacity, patron of James Hogg, the Ettrick Shepherd. At the head of the lake is the celebrated inn opened by Tibbie Shiel (Mrs Richardson, d. 1878), which was visited by many distinguished men of letters.