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Aberfoyle

A historical perspective, drawn from the Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland: A Survey of Scottish Topography, Statistical, Biographical and Historical, edited by Francis H. Groome and originally published in parts by Thomas C. Jack, Grange Publishing Works, Edinburgh between 1882 and 1885.

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Aberfoyle (Gael. abhir-a-phuill, ' confluence of the pool '), a hamlet and a parish on the SW border of Perthshire. The hamlet stands, towards the south-eastern corner of the parish, on the left bank of the Laggan, here crossed by a high and narrow three-arched bridge. It is 4 miles S by W of the Trossachs, and 7 NNW of Buchlyvie station, this being 15¾ miles W of Stirling, and 14½ NE of Balloch: by the Strathendrick and Aberfoyle Railway Bill (passed in the House of Lords, 15 June 1880) it is to be brought into direct connection with the railway system of Scotland. It has a post office under Stirling, with money order and savings' bank departments, an orphanage, and an excellent hotel, the ' Bailie Nicol Jarvie,' successor to the celebrated ' Clachan,' whose site, about 1 mile westward, is marked by only a few large stones. Across the bridge, 3 furlongs SSW, is the parish church (rebuilt 1744: repaired 1839: and seated for 250): and on this bridge, or its predecessor, a fray took place between a christening party of the Grahams of Duchray and the followers of the Earl of Airth and Menteith, 13 Feb. 1671 (Chambers' Dom. An., ii. 309,310). A cattle fair is held on the third Tuesday of April, a lamb fair on the Friday before the third Tuesday of August, and a cattle and hiring fair on the last Tuesday of October.

The parish is bounded, N by Loch Katrine, Achray Water, Loch Achray, Dubh Abhainn, and the head of Loch Venachar, which separate it from Callander: E by Loch Drunkie and Port of Monteith: and S, SW, and W by Stirlingshire, being parted for 6¼ miles by Duchray Water from Drymen and Buchanan parishes. The greatest length, from near Loch Arklet at the north-western to Cobleland at the south-eastern angle, is 10¾ miles: its width from NE to SW ranges between 2¼ and 6 miles: and its area is 29,215 acres, of which 2405 are water. Twenty-two rivulets flow northward into Loch Katrine, 2 into Achray Water, 2 into Loch Achray, and 2 into Loch Venachar, while 3 more run eastward to Loch Drunkie: but the drainage generally is carried east-south-eastward, belonging to the basin of the two headstreams of the Forth-the Avondhu and Duchray Water. The former, risi1g close to the western boundary, has a course of about 9 miles, and traverses Lochs Chon and Ard: the latter, rising on the slopes of Ben Lomond (3192 feet) in Buchanan, flows 1¼ mile north-eastward through the interior of Aberfoyle, and joins the Avondhu near the old Clachan. Thence, as the shallow Laggan, their united waters wind 2½ miles down the narrow Pass of Aberfoyle, beneath the precipices of Craigmore, to Cobleland, where they enter Port of Monteith. Loch Katrine lies 364 feet above sea-level: and the Inversnaid Road, leading up the valley of the Laggan and Avondhu, has an altitude of 66 feet near the hamlet, of 112 feet towards the head of Loch Ard, of 299 at the foot of Loch Chon, and of 571 at 1 mile NNW of its head. A region of glens and mountains, of rivers, cascades, and lakes, of oak and birch woods, Aberfoyle is for ever associated with the -scenes of Scott's Lady of the Lake, Waverley, and Rob Roy; the last describes its little vale, its beautiful river, the bare yet romantic ranges of rock that hedge the landscape in on either side and form a magnificent background, while far to the eastward a glance is caught of the Loch of Monteith, and of Stirling Castle, dimly descried, along with the blue and distant line of the Ochils. From W to E rise Meall Meadhonach (893 feet), Caisteal Corrach (1075), Druim nan Càrn (1500), Srōn Lochie (1643), Beinn Bhreac (2295), ' huge ' Ben Venue (2393), Beinn an Fhogharaidh (2000), Craigmore (1271), Dùn nam Muc (605), and Meall Ear (1091), to the N of the Avondhn and Laggan: to the S are Beinn Uaimhe (1962) on the western border, Beinn Dubh (1675) and Mulan an't Sagairt (1398) on the south-western, Coire Eirigh (852), Innis Ard (566), Bad Dearg (533), and Arndrum (454). The rocks include trap, conglomerate, a fissile slate of excellent roofing quality, and hard, blue, white-veined limestone, of which the two last have long been regularly worked- The glens are so small-none more than 1 mile in length and ¼ mile in breadth-that the arable area is very limited, and what there is has mostly been reclaimed from heath, to which it would revert if let to lie fallow for a year or two. The lands of Aberfoyle, supposed to have anciently belonged to the neighbouring priory of Inchmahome, were disposed of by the second and last Earl of Airth (d. 1694) to James, third Marquis and first Duke of Montrose, whose great-great-grandson, the fifth duke, is owner of the entire parish. Among its ministers were, Robert Kirk (d. 1692), translator of the Psalms into Gaelic verse: William Fisher (d. 1732), the last Episcopal clergyman who held a benefice in Scotland: and Patrick Graham, author of Sketches Descriptive of Picturesque Scenery on the Southern Con-fines of Perthshire (1806): whilst natives were the Shakespearian critic, William Richardson(1743-1814), and the poet William Glen, writer of ' Wae's me for Prince Charlie. ' Among its traditions is the defeat, in 1653, of Colonel Reid, a Cromwellian leader, by Graham of Duchray, at the Pass of Aberfoyle. The principal residences - Glashart, Lochard Lodge, Ledard, Bharhulachan, and Couligartan-lie all around Loch Ard. Aberfoyle is in the presbytery of Dunblane and synod of Perth and Stirling: the living is worth £201. A public school at the hamlet and a Society's school at Kinlochard (5 miles W by N), with respective accommodation for 72 and 66 children, had (1879) an average attendance of 37 and 26, and grants of £35,2s. and £36,9s. Valuation (1881) £4579,7s. 2d. Pop. (1831) 660, (1841) 549, (1861) 565, (1871) 432, (1881) 465.—Ord. Sur., sh. 38,1871.

An accompanying 19th C. Ordnance Survey map is available, or use the map tab to the right of this page.

Note: This text has been made available using a process of scanning and optical character recognition. Despite manual checking, some typographical errors may remain. Please remember this description dates from the 1880s; names may have changed, administrative divisions will certainly be different and there are known to be occasional errors of fact in the original text, which we have not corrected because we wish to maintain its integrity. This information is provided subject to our standard disclaimer

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