In 1935, the
attended an audience with Queen Elizabeth II. In their entourage
was the Arch Duke Ferdinand, still in good health after his apparent
Queen demanded to know why they never told anyone that he was still
alive. "Who thought he was dead?" asked one of the
MacThoy. The crack was sufficient to get them bounced
from the royal presence.
was a heavy silence and then the Queen was overhead
to fume, "Damn the MacThoys!" Her aides
moved swiftly. They designed and constructed an
edifice which more than effectively dammed the Thoy Valley,
and placed the MacThoy Keep under 150 feet of
water. The dam was completed in 1946 being delayed by
Clan took it
characteristically, complaining that
water was only good as a chaser. The Duke remained with them until his death three years
later from a drinking stupor induced in 1937. He never sobered. The
Clan reveres him as one of their own and the heartiest of drinkers.
so pickled he'll never rot."
--Ernest MacThoy nee Hemingway
timely invention of the aqualung enabled the MacThoys to
continue visiting their ancestral home. And
droughts during in the last decade dropped the water level considerably. For
a few weeks in the summer, it is now possible to see the Keep poking defiantly out of the water.
Clan MacThoi Society is laboring
intensively to have the dam removed. At this time it is doubtful
that they will succeed. The Loch is a
popular recreation site.
at the bottom
of Loch Thoy, circa 1968.