Ancient Stones
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023 Cheese Well, Minchmoor, Traquair.

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Two dressed but well weathered stones mark a small freshwater spring called the Cheese Well on the high and often desolate Minchmoor Road between Traquair and Selkirk. One stone, older than the other bears the inscription "Cheese Well". The second stone, obviously modern, also bears the same name and is dated 1966. Two inscribed stones were placed adjacent to the well by the resident of Camp Shiel in 1965.

The Minchmoor road forms part of the Southern Upland Way and is well sign posted from Traquair village, near Innerleithen. Simply follow the Way marked route up hill from Traquair, continue through the forested areas. The Cheese Well is on the south side of the footpath    level with Minch Moor.

There is a large parking area beside the village hall in Traquair village.

It is said that if you pass the well you should leave an offering, usually cheese - hence the name, to the Fairies or "Wee Folk" who are supposed to haunt the area. This would ensure a safe and successful journey. The Cheese Well may have been a pagan shrine in the past, whose veneration has fallen to superstition. The Minchmoor road, an ancient drove road, was notorious in the past for bandits and travellers probably needed all the luck they could get!

Although the two stones marking the Cheese Well are modern, having been placed there in the 1960's, they do not look out of place and help to maintain the tradition associated with this location. Long before the creation of the Southern Upland Way the Cheese Well was on the route of an ancient drove road and the tradition of leaving an offering, a piece of cheese, for the Fairies, no doubt pre-dates it by countless years.

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Quick Info
Type: Other Stones
Nearest Town: Innerleithen
Nearest Village: Traquair
Landranger Sheet 73
O.S. Explorer Sheet 337
Grid Reference: NT 3571 3357
GPS Reference: CHEESE

Symbols Key | Stone Types

Other Sites Nearby
005 Standing Stone, Cardrona, Peebles.
015 Coot Stone, Holylee, Walkerburn.

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