The Munlochy Clootie Well

The Clootie well at Munlochy is a favourite location of mine, all the lore so because I discovered it by accident. It is located in Scotland on the Black Isle. I was on holiday in Scotland and had driven up to Dingwall and had returned via Cromarty on the tip of the Black Isle. My route back took me through the village of Munlochy and on a back road I spotted what looked to be a collection of rags fluttering through the trees.  Intrigued by this I stopped and found the Clootie Well. A cloot is Scots dialect for a cloth, the idea is that a strip of cloth is dipped into the waters of a well and tied to a tree and as the cloth decays and vanishes whatever your ailment or problem is vanishes with it. The healing well at munlochy is thought to be dedicated to St. Boniface. 

28/08/14 SCOTLAND. The Black Isle. Munlochy Clooty Well.

SCOTLAND. The Black Isle. A clooted tree at the Munlochy Clootie Well. The tradition is to dip a cloth, a cloot, in the nearby well and then tie it to a nearby tree while making a wish. Some people get carried away.

The well has proved to be very popular over time as you can see, with whole garments and shoes being added to the collection in the trees. The atmosphere is quite spooky at times, as the wind rises and falls the items of clothing take on a life of their own and movements in the corner of your eye can be a little bit alarming.  I always try to fit in a visit whenever I am in Scotland, the ebb and flow of garments, dolls teddy bears etc add that extra dimension of feeling you are being watched as you walk around the paths that snake their way through the trees. If you are planning a visit to Scotland try and fit in a visit. A word of warning though. Should you remove anything from the well it is said that you will be cursed with the original donors ailment or problem. 

28/08/14 The Black Isle. Munlochy Clooty Well.  Shiny Shoes.

THE BLACK ISLE. The Munlochy Clootie Well. The tradition is to dip a cloth, a cloot, in the nearby wel and tie it to the branches of the trees while making a wish. Some people take this a bit further as this pair of shoes proves. I wonder if they walked home barefoot?

Clootie Well Information

 

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7 thoughts on “The Munlochy Clootie Well

  1. How interesting. I recently watched a documentary about Europe’s most famous trees. One of them, if I remember well is located in Herchies, Belgium. You can look it up under “l’arbre à clous” it serves a similar purpose to the one you are talking about. People come from far away to ‘nail’ their ailments on the tree. I’m surprise to see that there is a similar belief in Scotland.

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    1. Thanks for that information, I’ll certainly look that up. I suppose there may be a connection in the spread of early Celtic peoples and their beliefs? Or even Viking? Though that last may be a bit fanciful I suppose.

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      1. While browsing through the French Wikipedia, I found out that there were many more trees throughout Europe, involving healing. Either by nailing the ailment (they are refered to as nail trees), or hanging a piece of cloth around it (rag trees). It does originate from pagan rituals that have slowly turned into Christian rituals.

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