|Aberfoyle Bridge, over the River Forth|
On the banks of the River Forth, the modest village of Aberfoyle, Perthshire, shelters in the foothills of the Trossachs and although it is a small place, it has a rich literary history. The historical novelist, Sir Walter Scott, loved to visit this area and it is said that this is where he wrote, Lady of the Lake, while residing in Fairy Knowe.
|The Poker Tree|
Scott is accredited with putting this once slate mining village, on the Victorian tourist map, following the publication of his narrative poem in 1810. The village featured again in his novel, Rob Roy, published in 1817 and the Poker Tree, which remarkably still grows in the village and Baillie Nicol Jarvie all played a part in his story.
|St Mary's Episcopal Church|
Without Sir Walter's regular visits to Aberfoyle, it's unlikely that the manuscript written by Rev.Robert Kirk, an Episcopalian minister in Balquhidder and then Aberfoyle Parish Church, would ever have been published. 'The Secret Commonwealth,' a study of myths and folklore in the region, was first published in 1815, over a hundred years after the author had died, on the instruction of Sir Walter. Then again by, Scots author, Andrew Lang in 1893, under the new title of, 'The Secret Commonwealth of Elves, Fauns and Fairies.
Three miles away, the small community of Port Menteith, sits on the only 'lake' in Scotland and it is a historical writers dream. Lake Menteith and its island, is where the ruins of Inchmahome Priory continue to tell of times gone past and its charm is what stories are made of.
I've visited the Aberfoyle area many times, however its poker face exterior won't fool anyone, because natural beauty such as this cannot be concealed.
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