Glencoe’s Own Ballachulish Goddess
Glencoe Folk Museum
In the winter of 1880, lying deep under peat, the mysterious Ballachulish figure was discovered.
Hewn from a single piece of alder wood, with pebbles for her eyes, the original carving is almost life-sized, at a metre and a half tall.
Thought to represent a supernatural being, she is known as the Ballachulish Goddess based on her location, close to the shore of Loch Leven. However, quite what her role was is impossible to say: perhaps she was a pagan idol or even was for granting safe passage to travellers of the loch.
Dated to 600 BCE, she is the oldest human figure found in Scotland.
Unfortunately, when the Ballachulish Goddess was removed from the peat, she began to dry out, causing the wood to warp – a disappointment to contemporary Victorian archaeologists.
The original figure was removed from the area and can be seen at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh. This fabulous ‘replica’ is on display in Glencoe Folk Museum, created shortly after the museum opened in 1969 to resemble how she would have been two and a half millennia ago.