Aberfoyle in Loch Lomond and Trossachs Park
Aberfoyle - Lomond and Trossachs National Park. This small but important village lies in one of Europe's most beautiful locations at the southern edge of the West Highland Fault, and lying inside the Lomond & Trossachs National Park, with Loch Ard , Loch Chon, Loch Arklet and Loch Lomond all lying to the West, Loch Katrine, Loch Achray and Loch Venacher to the North and the Lake of Menteith, Scotland's only "lake" lying to the East. The village is without doubt the most important gateway to the Trossachs and has something for everyone, including those people who love old mysteries.
The Reverend Kirk and his Mysterious Story
Robert Kirk, 7th son of the minister of Aberfoyle was born in 1644AD. He had a fascination and belief in the magical world of Fairies. Robert also became a minister and after preaching at Balquhidder he came to the Aberfoyle ministry. He should have been remembered as the person who provided the first translation to Gaelic of the book of Psalms, however it was the publication of his book "The Secret Commonwealth of Elves, Fauns, and Fairies" in 1861 which was to fire the imagination of historians as the Reverend Robert Kirk disappeared in mysterious circumstances.
Legend (the pen and ink of historians) has it that the inhabitants of the Secret Commonwealth, namely Fairies and the like were furious at the Reverend for disclosing all their secrets and they planned revenge. Daily Robert Kirk would walk from the manse to Doon Hill, one day in May 1692 he did not return. Legend tells us that at Doon hill the Fairies appeared and took him to the underground world of the Fairies. The pine tree that still exists at the summit of Doon Hill, the only evergreen on this forested hill is said to contain his imprisoned spirit.
Another part of the legend states that somehow the Reverends wife was given one chance to retrieve her husband from the Fairy kingdom. She was told that he would appear to her once during a service at the Old Kirk. When this happened she was to throw a knife at him. In the event she could not bring herself to throw the knife and so lost her husband forever.
From the village take a walk up manse road, take the left fork after about 1/2 mile. This leads onto forest track. Watch for the signs for Fairy Hill after about 1/4 mile. At the top of the hill in amongst the trees you can see prayer ribbons that people still leave. This is a nice family amble that would not tire any but the infirm.
Aberfoyle is the place of creation of the renowned Farm Solutions Farm Cattle Recording Software on a local family farm which borders the Aberfoyle village. The program although no longer "housed" in Aberfoyle is stll serving farms up and down the UK 21 years later.