Queen’s Well, Glen Mark and Glen Esk
The Queen’s Well is a crown shaped monument built over a spring well in Glenmark. It was built to commemorate a visit made to Invermark Lodge, in September 1861, by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. They made the journey from Balmoral to Glenesk over Mount Keen on horseback and stopped at the well to drink.
A fairly easy walk in good weather, leading to the wilder Glen Mark at the head of Glen Esk. Visit the ornamental well erected to commemorate a visit by Queen Victoria and return down the glen or take an optional, lengthy detour to look for Balnamoon’s Cave.
James Carnegy-Arbuthnott, Laird of Balnamoon, favoured the Jacobite cause and was known as the Rebel Laird. He was Prince Charles Edward Stuart’s Deputy-Lieutenant of Forfarshire and an officer in Lord Ogilvy’s Angus regiment. He survived the Battle of Culloden in 1746 and fled to Glenesk where he was harboured by locals until he was betrayed by the local Presbyterian minister. Sent for trial in London, he was acquitted on a misnomer. (In 1745 he had added his wife’s surname and territorial designation of Arbuthnott of Findowrie to his own name, from whence arose the confusion).
While outlawed, Balnamoon was actively sought by soldiers of the crown, as well as hired Highlanders. At times of greatest danger, when his pursuers were in the Angus Glens, he hid out in a remote cave high in Glen Mark. The loyalty of the locals, the remote location and the difficulty in locating the small cave entrance among the rock strewn mountain sides, kept Balnamoon from being discovered and captured for a year. Balnamoon’s cave is not easy to find can you find it?
Path and stony track across open moorland.
Start Point for: Queen’s Well, Glen Esk, Invermark
Satnav: N 56°54’41.4″ W 2°54’37.8″
Total distance 8km/5 miles Time 2 – 2.5 hours Ascent 80m Grid Ref NO446803