The biography of Laggan Rhye

Ever wanted to know what that silly name "Laggan Rhye" means ? Or are you just curious and do you want to know where Laggan Rhye originated ? Well, let's hope this page will answer that and furthermore : Sit back and enjoy this nice little story about Laggan Rhye.



Laggan met 



First of all, the name: What does Laggan Rhye mean? Well, in July 1991 the band had their holiday in Scotland. And they liked the mystic environment, the solace atmosphere and the serenity of the landscape. Up till then the band was called "Fuse", but they knew they had to change the name not only to honour the beauty of Scotland, but also since their style was changing. Up till then they played music inspired by Supertramp and others, but it soon changed to Marillion, Camel, Pink Floyd and others.

During the tour (by backpack) through Scotland they ultimately reached the shore of Loch Ness. And as they camped in a field of rye near the loch (pretty much like the picture besides) they knew the word "rye" had to be incorporated in the name. And on the way there they passed a little town called Laggan, which controls the passing of ships through the Caledonian Canal. Its locks open the way to Loch Ness, so this town had to be remembered in the name.

The band liked their dram and had a few drinks when they came up with "Laggan Rye". And a few days this was their new name. But as they got more and more acquainted with the people of Scotland, they knew they had to honour their roots: The Celts. And since the Celts spoke Gaelic, which is still spoken in some remote areas in Scotland (and of course in Ireland, The Hebrides, Orkneys and small islands around Scotland), some Scots were helpful to look up what "rye" was spelled like in Gaelic. The result you know: "Rhye". In Gaelic it is also used to denounce a particular kind of whisky: rye-whisky, a dram made from rye instead of wheat.

Let's get some details right.

Landkaart van 


It is not to be expected many people have visited the western highlands of Scotland frequently. So let me point out to you where the little town of Laggan resides.

At the southern boundary of Loch Ness, there's a town called Fort Augustus. It has a nice church with lots of the clan history of the area. A "must visit" if you are in the area. Also, if you want to know more about the habitant of the lake, Nessie, there is a elaborate information centre about this prehistorically remnant.

Well, if you travel 15 miles to the southwest, along the banks of the Caledonian Canal, you stumble upon a lock. Around it there are only a few houses and thought the town is tiny, during holiday-season it can get crowded. A nearby beautifully situated complex of lodges and increased boating activities in the summer attract tourists.










picture source : West Highland Sailing (thanks)

How about the second part of the name: Rhye.

As mentioned before the Celts and Gaelic speaking people write it as " Rhye", and in old English it is spelled "ryge".


1. A cereal grass (Secale cereale) widely cultivated for its grain. 

2. The grain of this plant, used in making flour and whiskey and for livestock feed. 

3. Whiskey made from the grains of this plant.

[Middle English from Old English ryge.]

Source: The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Third Edition





1. the seed of the cereal grass

2. hardy annual cereal grass widely cultivated in northern Europe where its grain is the chief ingredient of black bread and in North America for forage and soil improvement [syn: Secale cereale]

3. distilled from rye or rye and malt [syn: rye whiskey, rye whisky]

Source: WordNet ® 1.6, © 1997 Princeton University



rye whiskey(n)


Function: noun

Date: 1785 : a whiskey distilled from rye or from rye and malt

Source : Merriam-Webster dictionary





In Greek mythology, Rhea is the mother of the gods, daughter of Uranus and Gaia. She is married to her brother Cronus and is the mother of Demeter, Hades, Hera, Hestia, Poseidon and Zeus.

Cronus, jealous of the future power of his children and to secure his dominion, ate his own children but Rhea managed to rescue one son, Zeus. She hid him in the Dictean Cave in Crete and gave Cronus a stone wrapped in the clothes of the infant, which he swallowed. Thus Rhea succeeded in making him believe that he had killed all of his children. When Zeus reached maturity he overpowered and dethroned his father and made Cronus disgorge his siblings.

Rhea is identified with mother goddess Cybele from Asia Minor and is also known as Rhea Cybele and Magna Mater ("great mother"). She was worshipped with orgiastic rites. Rhea is depicted between two lions or on a chariot pulled by lions.

source : pantheon



Let's get on a journey through the western Highlands...

View from Laggan in the summer, facing southwest : Loch Lochy

Near Loch Lochy, travelling from Laggan to Invergary


Laggan locks.




Laggan locks some 50 years ago.





Now we travel the odd 15 miles northeast from Laggan to Fort Augustus, near Loch Ness :






The mountain in the background is Ben Tee, from which you get a beautiful view over the Loch Ness area.


Loch Ness


Well, this is Loch Ness. At the right side (in the back) Ben Tee.


Vanaf de berg

Loch Ness in the sunshine.

This is a spectacular view from Ben Tee.


...and in aftermath

the reflection declines...



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