Park People

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Rev Robert Kirk (1641-1692)

The Rev Robert Kirk was a brilliant scholar though a man of strange habits! While minister of the church at Aberfoyle, he took to wandering about the nearby Doon Hill late at night, sometimes lying down with his ear to the ground and murmuring as if in conversation. He then wrote a book called 'The Secret Commonwealth of Elves, Fauns and Fairies' at a time when the church (unsurprisingly) frowned on such dabblings. In 1692, he was found dead in his nightshirt on the hill. Some say he was trapped in Fairyland.

Robert BurnsRobert Burns (1759-1796)

On a notable Highland tour in 1787, after the success of his famous ‘Kilmarnock Edition’ of his poems, he wrote ‘I have lately been rambling over by Dumbarton and Inveraray, and running a drunken race on the side of Loch Lomond with wild Highlandman….Overlooking the National Park gateway town of Dunoon is a memorial to Burns complicated love-life: the statue of Highland Mary, Mary Campbell, with whom Burns intended to emigrate. She died in October 1786 and has been a source for romantic speculation ever since

William Wordsworth (1770-1850)

Balquhidder KirkWilliam Wordsworth, accompanied by his sister Dorothy, and by another Romantic Poet, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, visited Loch Katrine (and many other places besides) in 1803, the first of three trips to Scotland. Poems inspired by the visit include: 'To a Highland Girl' (at Inversnaid); 'Stepping Westward' (along Loch Katrine); 'The Solitary Reaper' (at Balquhidder); 'Rob Roy's Grave'. (This poem was written following a visit to Clan Gregor graves by the shores of Loch Katrine at Portnellan. Wordsworth thought Rob Roy was buried here, but his grave is actually at Balquhidder.)