The Duke’s Pass by Louis Stott
This is one of several articles written by Louis Stott who generously offered local aspects of his scholarship to the archive of Loch Ard Local History Group–our thanks to Louis and his family for this material.
Sir Walter Scott found inspiration while wandering in the Trossachs. The Lady of the Lake, first published in 1810, brought visitors flocking to the area. This area was quite inhospitable but thanks to the generosity of the landowner, The Duke of Montrose, a road was built was accommodate them.
The railway brought the visitors to the station where they then boarded coaches for their journey through the Trossachs. The arrival of the steamer on Loch Katrine allowed the visitors to see for themselves the beauty described in Sir Walter Scott’s work. It should be noted that he not only wrote of the scenic beauty but told of the mythical stories which surround this area.
Today’s visitor can also recapture the scenes of this time as this area has changed little over the decades. However, one can first stop at The David Marshall Lodge for a panoramic view of the village of Aberfoyle, the flood plain of the River Forth and the surrounding mountains.
The David Marshall Lodge was gifted to The Forestry Commission by The Carnegie Trust in 1960, and was named after a former Chairman of the Trust. Its original intention was to allow visitors to enjoy their picnic before continuing on their journey. Only hot water was provided to let them enjoy a hot drink. In the following decades an extension was built. Now other refreshments may be bought and consumed within the café. The glass cases of stuffed animals and birds of the 1960s have been replaced with hi-tech equipment where visitors can view the ospreys in their natural habitat.