11/03/2012 - I'd been looking forward to visiting this well for a long time. No antiquity but anything connected to fairies is good with me. Parked at Traquair village hall (NT 3308 3458) and climbed Minch Moor via the Southern Upland Way. The well is very near the top. Many coin offerings there. Lovely view. It didn't disappoint.
Just over one hour of climbing up the Red Bull XC you reach the summit of Minch Moor at 567 metres. The beautiful climb up on singletrack gives way to an eye watering swooping bermy descent down to the Southern Upland Way, where, just over the other side of the Minch, the Cheese Well gurgles away. The sun has yet to reach this part of the hill and it's still frosty and very nippy. This is a fairly lonely and isolated spot, but the stunning scenery all around and the atmosphere here gives this place a, well, just one of those feelings- it's very hard to describe. There are two natural springs here- the flowing and gurgling one and a small pool which trickles. A small path from the SUW leads to the springs and two stones- one shaped like an old grave stone which is inscribed with "Cheese Well". The other is kite shaped with a fab thistle carved into it with "Cheese Well"and "1965". The sound of the water is mesmerising. I have no cheese for the wee folk, so I leave them a fizzy cola bottle instead hoping for a safe passage across their moor!
Tradition has it that travellers crossing the Minch Moor should leave pieces of food (cheese prefered!) for the little people to ensure a safe passage across the moor (which can be a bloody cold and bleak place at times so get yer sandwiches out for the wee folk!!)
An entry from Ancient Stones, an online database that covers most of the standing stones, stone circles and other stones found in South East Scotland. Each entry includes details, directions, photograph, folklore, parking and field notes on each location.