Map of Scotland
Sports and Leisure
of Loch Leven is rich and long. In 1335 Loch Leven castle was one
of only 3 or 4 strongholds which had not fallen to the English. It
was occupied by supporters of King David II (the son of Robert the
Bruce) and was attacked by an army supported by the English monarch.
The English force, aided by a number of Scottish Lairds (Lords) laid
siege to the castle for nearly nine months without success. Frustrated,
they attempted to flood out the occupants by blocking the Leven River
and so increasing the water level of the loch. The plan backfired,
however, when a group from the island broke down the dam during the
night, the water surged out drowning many of the attackers who were
camped on the river banks nearby.
best known tale of the loch, though, is that of the tragic Mary
Queen of Scots. Mary Stuart was born in 1542 and within a week of
her birth her father, James V, died making her Queen of Scotland.
Mary was brought up in France and in 1558 she was married to the
Dauphin, Francis of France, who died two years later. Mary returned
to Scotland and married Lord Darnley. It was not a happy marriage,
he murdered David Rizzio her secretary and friend. A year later,
he himself was murdered.
Mary, pregnant with James VI, proceeded to stage her own abduction
so that she could marry the Earl of Bothwell who had been accused
of murdering Darnley. The Scottish nobles were incensed, she was
imprisoned here in the castle on Loch Leven and was forced to abdicate.
After eleven months one of the young pages fell in love with Mary,
stole the keys and rowed her across to the shore where sympathetic
nobles were waiting for her. It is still believed that the keys
to the castle lie at the bottom of the loch where they were thrown.
Mary was hidden by supporters while she gathered an army to fight
to regain the throne but she was defeated at the Battle of Langside
in 1568. With nowhere else to go, Mary fled to England seeking support
from her cousin Queen Elizabeth I. Unfortunately Queen Elizabeth
saw Mary as a threat to her own throne and imprisoned her. Mary
spent the last twenty years of her life in prison before being executed
at Fotheringay in 1587.
-- Carnbo -- Crook
of Devon -- Kinnesswood -- Kinross
-- Loch Leven -- Milnathort
-- Rumbling Bridge -- Scotlandwell