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Welcome to St Fillans on Loch Earn

St. Fillans is a pretty, picturesque, conservation village situated within Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. We can be found at the east end of Loch Earn on the A85 in the central highlands of Scotland. We are a friendly little village consisting of around 200 residents.

In and around St. Fillans you can enjoy walking, golf, fishing, canoeing, boating, good local food, gardens, history, bird watching, Munro-bagging or just sitting in the sun feeding the resident ducks.

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The following short story has been penned by the Granddaughter of St Fillans residents, Dave & Lynda Pryde. Emma Pryde attends Woodmill High School in Dunfermline but for inspiration for her story, she drew largely on some of our weel-kent local landmarks………enjoy!

The Stone Dragon

Sometime in the early 1900s, far in the North of Scotland, an old railway worker was going about his day on the hills of Glen Tarken when he came across an oddly shaped rock which he thought resembled the head of a stone dragon. To humour himself he rushed home to find brushes and pots of paint. When he returned to the hills, he then painted the face of a fierce dragon baring his teeth onto the large stone. However, little did the man know that this was in fact a real, ancient dragon whose story had been long forgotten.

Between the extinction of the dinosaurs and the dawn of man there was a period of time where the world was dominated by magical and mythical creatures. Some of the most powerful of these creatures were the fairies and the dragons. In this age, the fairies roamed the highlands of Scotland using their charms to bring the day and night. The fairies loathed the dragons, whose enchantments brought the changing of seasons and weather. One particular herd of fairies lived in Glen Tarken where Draco, the last dragon, dwelt. The fairies wanted him to leave as he caused harsh and sudden changes to the seasons while they wanted more of the long summer days full of warm, bright sunlight. So, the fairies devised a plan to trick the dragon.
 
The interesting thing about dragons is that they can only come out during the night, when the moon casts white light on the hilltops and the stars dance in the sky. If one were to be caught in sunlight, they would instantly begin to harden and turn to cool stone.

One breezy Autumn day, Draco lay in a deep sleep under the orange hills of the glen; the fairies gathered at the entrance to the hole where he lay and using their magic, cast a pale light down into the hillside to make it look as though the moon was out. Draco yawned and stretched before making his way out into the open. Once almost fully out, the fairies stopped their trick and warm light shone onto the dragon’s scales. The dragon roared out in pain and he realised he had been tricked, desperately he tried to slither back out of the sunlight in retreat, but it was too late. Draco turned to stone with only his head poking out the side of the hill, frozen with his mouth open as he cursed the fairies in his final moment. His curse trapped the fairies inside of a large stone on the far side of the glen, where they remained for the rest of time, made to grant the wishes of anyone who left an item on the rock as payment in return for their wish. To this day you can still wander the glen and visit the fairy stone to make a wish or to see the stone head of the last dragon, who is forever trapped on the amber hillside of Glen Tarken.

Emma Pryde, 2020

Whilst this is a work of fiction and Emma has created the names, characters and places from her imagination,............................................................................

Note for Visitors: The Dragon (Crocodile) actually lies east of St Fillans near the path on the old railway line and the fairy stone exists within the village. For more info please go to

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Here is the home of quietude,

Here beauty’s secret lair,

Where no disturbing noises rude

Offend a scene so fair;

Here is the river of delight,

The lake of sweet content,

Where silver strand and scarped height

There sun-kissed charms have lent.

 

Here is the heart of Scotland, friend,

In settings, rare displayed;

Where peace unbroken knows no end.

And hearts are unafraid,

Here Art fresh inspiration finds,

In every silent glen,

Who’s singing stream by heart still binds,

As it inspires my pen.

 

My soul has found its resting-place

In this romantic spot;

And when my life has run its race,

Prithee disturb me not;

For here I’ve found that gate of heaven,

A place where dreams come true,

Where faiths’s renewed, and hope is given,

As we our vows renew.

W T McGregor           17th May 1941           

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Snippets from the village archive

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1832: Edinburgh Encyclopaedia

Conducted by David Brewster

“Among these most recent improvements, we wish particularly to notice the village of St.Fillans, near Loch Earn. Built by Lord Gwydir on the Drummond Estate because it proves that nothing is wanted to render the cottages of Scotland as neat and clean as those of England, and the habits of the people as orderly, but a little attention and perseverance by the proprietors. The rose and honeysuckle have here taken the place of the dub and the midden, and the residents have learnt to think that there may be a merit and a happiness in neatness and cleanliness”.

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1836:  Gazetteer of Scotland

Observes

“St.Fillans was formerly a wretched hamlet, denominated Portmore, but it is now one of the sweetest spots in Scotland. The village has been reared and encouraged by the attention of Lord and Lady Willoughby d’Eresby (lately Gwydir), and here the traveller is delighted to find the people altogether loosing their taste for dunghills, and thatch, and peat-reek, and fast adopting a better one for slate, cleanliness and honeysuckle. The houses all have gardens attached to them, and are even in many cases surrounded by sweet shrubs and flowers. There are also a few villas built, for families who may wish to settle in this delicious spot. It is annually, in autumn, rendered a scene of high festival, by a meeting of the St.Fillans Society, which was instituted in 1819, for the purpose of giving prizes to competitors in certain national sports, and as a benefits society for imparting aid to indigent and distressed members, widows and orphans. Their festivals are usually attended by persons of condition, male and female from all parts of the Highlands”.

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Dundee Courier Wednesday July 16th 1913

Motorists exceed the Speed Limit at St Fillans

Several motorists who exceeded the ten-mile speed limit at St Fillans Village on different dates towards the end of June and the beginning of July were somewhat severally dealt with by Sheriff Sym at Perth yesterday.

-  Laidlaw admitted having on 1st July, driven a motor car at a speed of over 16 miles per hour. The accused explained that his speedometer was not working properly, and he did not know what speed he was travelling. A fine of £2 2s with the alternative of seven days imprisonment was imposed.

-  McArthur was charged with having driven at a speed of over 20 miles per hour. The accused failed to put in an appearance, and after hearing evidence the charge was found proven, and a fine of £4 4s with the option of eight days imprisonment was imposed.

-  Brown who also failed to appear in Court was charged with having driven at a speed of 19 miles on the 29th June. He was further charged with having failed to produce his licence when requested by the police. After evidence the accused was found guilty on both charges, and the Sheriff imposed fines of £4 and £1 on the respective charges.

-  McGregor admitted having driven a car at a speed of 17 miles per hour, and was fined £4 10s with the alternative of 7 days imprisonment

-  For travelling at a speed of 17 miles per hour on a motor Cycle - Catto was fined £2 10s or 7 days.   

( perhaps we need to bring back the Village Bobby)

See Some more Snippets under About / Heritage

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Use this app to find the location of Public Access Defibrillators in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. Please allow it to use your current location. Our Defibrillator in the village was funded by the St Fillans Community Trust and the British Heart Foundation.