Scotland Tours from Edinburgh
Scotland Tours from Edinburgh take many forms but one less visited location is a must. The Doon Hill in Aberfoyle and the legend of the Reverend Robert Kirk’s suspicious death in 1692.
The Reverend Robert Kirk was born in 1644. His book “The Secret Commonwealth of Elves, Fauns, and Fairies” published in 1691.
In more modern times, it is what he’s best known for.
Well, that and his soul being trapped in a big Scots Pine at the top of a local hill.
Kirks book tells stories about folk who had contact with fairies, including himself.
The Reverend Kirk also believed that the local Doon Hill was the gateway to the Faerie Kingdom.
The seventh son of Reverend James Kirk of Balquidder served as minister in the small highland settlement of Balquhidder and then as minister of Aberfoyle Parish.
The Kirk family were of highland blood, and like most 17thcentury highlanders, poor!
Although they were very poor, Young Robert was able to finish his studies due to a bursary from the Presbytery of Dunblane.
Scotland’s obsession with the rise of Catholicism meant literacy levels were important, and arguably even more so amongst the poor, as reading God’s word strengthened the Church’s position.
Robert Kirk went on to study theology at one of the oldest Universities in the world, St Andrews University, and later obtained his Master’s Degree at Edinburgh University.
The Reverend Robert Kirk was an intellectual, a learned man of God. And yet, believed without question in the Faerie realm.
A Gateway to the Faerie Kingdom
Beware of the Body Snatchers
Iron ‘mortsafes’ and Watchtowers were a common deterrent against 18th & 19th century cadaver stealers.
Local guides with local knowledge
A little over an hour from Edinburgh, in the heart of the Trossachs area of Scotland, lies a small graveyard. Surrounded by the rugged scenery and the crags of Aberfoyle, this churchyard is unique indeed.
The short walk from the village of Aberfoyle, a popular stop on many small group tours of the Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park, you come to the cemetery gates and the magnificent lion heads, forged in iron.
Folklore tells us that faeries have a problem with iron, and it can render their powers useless. A wise choice for a graveyard so close to a gateway to the Fairy realm and important to know when your on your way to visit that very spot.
The Reverend Robert Kirk’s alleged final resting place is the gravestone we are searching for between the sunshine and showers. Always mindful of our surroundings, we stop at the “Mortsafes” positioned outside the old Kirk. There is a peaceful feeling in this old cemetery.
The cast-iron coffins are a reminder of the profits to be made from graverobbing in the 17 – 1800s. Supplying cadavers for the medical profession in ‘Auld Reekie’ was profitable and often led to nefarious deals and murder.
‘Auld Reekie’ describes Edinburgh’s smoky and dirty appearance from centuries past.
Scottish Highland Tours from Edinburgh
A Thistle, Shepards staff and Templars sword
Symbolism on gravestones is not unusual in Scottish Kirk yards, especially Masonic symbolism. But what about Robert Kirk’s grave?
The Scottish Thistle is at the top is self-explanatory and a reminder of Robert Kirks highland heritage. The shepards staff, indicating the Reverend Robert Kirk’s calling and like his father before him, and the Templars sword!
The forests around Aberfoyle are wonderful to explore and carvings like this one help create a special atmosphere.
This local tree is clearly a gateway to the Faerie Kingdom. Local school children embrace the notion of the Faerie world and some adults too.