The Port of Menteith is situated around the Lake of Menteith, Scotland’s only ‘Lake’. The original name for this stretch of water was the Loch of Menteith. The change occurred at some point in the early 1800s. No one knows exactly why but theories include the many English visitors being drawn to the area by Sir Walter Scott’s novels at the time; the rather English look of the loch; or a slip of a pen by an early map maker.
The small community surrounded by fertile farmland and overlooked by the Menteith Hills. the village sits on the shores of Scotland’s only Lake. During the months April to October, you can take a ferry to the peaceful island of Inchmahome and visit the romantic, 13th century priory where the infant Mary Queen of Scots was sent for safekeeping in 1547.
Inchmahome Priory is situated on Inchmahome (“Inch” meaning an island), the largest of three islands in the centre of Lake of Menteith, close to Aberfoyle, Scotland.The name “Inchmahome” comes from Innis MoCholmaig, meaning Island of St Colmaig.The priory was founded in 1238 by the Earl of Menteith, Walter Comyn, for a small community of the Augustinian order (the Black Canons). The Comyn family were one of the most powerful in Scotland at the time, and had an imposing country house on Inch Talla, one of the other islands on the lake. There is some evidence that there was a church on the island before the priory was established.
Although most of the buildings are now ruins, much of the original 13th century structure remains, and it is now in the care of Historic Scotland, who maintain and preserve it as an important historic site. The priory can be visited by boat, operated by Historic Scotland from the nearby pier at Port of Menteith, from March to September. Very occasionally the Lake of Menteith freezes over allowing people to walk over and if the ice is thick enough a Bonspiel can take place.
Back in 1979 the Lake of Menteith hosted the last “Bonspiel” (A Grand Match open air curling tournament). There was hope that this will be repeated in January 2010. Boreholes were being regularly taken and the ice reached the 7 inches necessary for the match to take place. Unfortunately, it was decided by the Royal Caledonian Curling Club on Friday 8th January the event could not take place…. It was then hoped that an ‘Unofficial’ Bonspiel would take place on Tuesday 12th January, unfortunately due to rain and a rise in the temperature this wasn’t to be.
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