Stirling, The Trossachs & Loch Lomond area are steeped in history, famous historical events and individuals. Included in these are Robert The Bruce, William Wallace, Mary Queen of Scots & Rob Roy MacGregor. Their stories have been told my numerous novelists the most famous being Sir Walter Scott who wrote about Rob Roy and Loch Katrine in his novels and poems which are partly responsible for the popularity of area today.
Many of the characters have been portrayed in films about their lives such as Rob Roy (1953, 1995), William Wallace in Braveheart (1995) and Mary Queen of Scots (1971) played by Venessa Redgrave.A brief history of some of the most famous historic characters below:
Robert the Bruce
His official title was Robert I (11 July 1274–7 June 1329) and he was King of Scots from March 25, 1306, until his death in 1329. Designated to become one of Scotland’s greatest Kings he led Scotland during the Wars of Scottish Independence against the England, claiming the Scottish throne as a fourth great-grandson of David I of Scotland. During his reign he lived to see Scotland gain its status as an independent nation. Today Bruce is remembered as a Scottish national hero. Learn More
Died 23 August 1305. A Scottish legend William Wallace was originally a knight & landowner. Most famous for his victory against the English at the battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297. It was here that the Scots army led by Wallace & his co-leader Andrew Moray were outnumbered by an English army of over 11,000. Wallace became the Guardian of Scotland until his defeat at the Battle of Falkirk in 1305. Learn More
Mary Queen of Scots
(1542-1587). Also known as Mary Stuart. Her father King James V of Scotland died when she was 6 days old; she was crowned nine months later as Queen Regent of Scotland till 1567. At 16 she married Francis, Dauphin of France & was Queen consort of France until his death in 1560. Returning home she married her 1st cousin, Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley (an unhappy union). In 1567, Darnley was found dead & she married James Hepburn (believed to be Darnley’s murderer). Learn More
Rob Roy Macgregor
A famous outlaw (1671-1734) Rob Roy’s life as an outlaw started when he was unable to repay money he borrowed from the Duke of Montrose to fund his growing cattle trade. Perhaps Scotland’s own Robin Hood, it is said that he was never brutal or cruel with his victims and never stole from the common man! The Duke seized his lands & property & Rob Roy fled with his debt unpaid. He became Scottish legend as he & his followers (at times 500 strong) profited from raiding lands of the Duke his neighbours. Learn More
The Reverend Robert Kirk
The Reverend Kirk has become a mythical Trossachs character; legend has it his spirit was whisked away by the fairies into the heart of a Scots Pine tree atop the Fairy Knowe in the village of Aberfoyle; he was buried in Aberfoyles graveyard in 1692 (where there are also 2 mort safes – used to prevent body snatchers). The Reverend Kirk was a genuine minister who wrote the The Secret Commonwealth of elves, fauns & fairies. A minister at Balquidder he also translated the Bible into Gaelic. Learn More
Sir Walter Scott
A world renowned novelist (1771 to 1832) he brought the scenic charms of the Trossachs area to popularity with his romantic portrayal of Scotland’s past from border ballads to poems telling of a medieval past, His 1810 poem Lady of the Lake was a roll call of Trossachs place names, the lady herself being found on Loch Katrine. During summer 2010, ScottsLand’s programme of 44 events celebrated the bicentenary of Sir Walter Scott’s publication Lady of the Lake. Learn More
Robert Burns wrote his ‘Address to a Haggis‘ to celebrate his appreciation of the Haggis. Each year on or around the 25th January a celebration takes place in the form of a Burns Supper to commemorate his birthday and his works. Burns Suppers can be a formal event with full evening dress for men and the ladies, or it can just be a menu selection in an hotel or restaurant offering traditional fare for the event. Here are some venues where you can enjoy a Burns Night Supper or Special Menu celebrating Burns. Learn More
Historical Buildings & Places to Visit: Stirling, The Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park & the surrounding areas boasts many of Scotland’s finest historical buildings & areas to visit. These include Scotland’s only lake, the Lake of Menteith; in the middle of the Lake of Menteith is Inchmaholme Priory (a Historic Scotland’s property) famously used to hide the infant Mary Queen of Scots . Also worth visiting is Stirling Castle & Argyll’s Lodging, The Wallace Monument, Stirlings Old Town Jail, Inverary Jail & other historic buildings. All of these are Great Family Days out. A must visit is Blair Drummond Safari Park, The David Marshall Lodge in the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park & the numerous Wildlife Centres.
Local Clans: Within and bordering the Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park there are many famous Clan names, along with a few less known ones. Famous Clans include The MacGregors, The Buchanans, The Colquhouns, The MacGregors, The MacArthurs, The MacFarlanes, The MacLarens, The MacNabs, The MacNaughtons and The Napiers. Click on any of the Tartans to go to our Clans pages.