Goose Oaks, St. Fillans, Comrie, Perthshire

Legendary Trees (lost):  OS Grid Reference – NN 693 242

Folklore

A fascinating story of this forgotten site is detailed in Alex Porteous’ (1912) history book on this tiny parish at the eastern end of Loch Earn.  It’s a peculiar tale—and unless the story was little more than the local people ripping the piss out of the patronising incomers, its nature remains a mystery.  Porteous wrote:

“What were known as the Goose Oaks grew by the loch-side about two or three hundred yards west from the hotel.  The story is told of a celebrated goose which attained to the great age of 160 years and finally gave up this life in 1818.  It is solemnly averred by Mr (John) Brown that the history of this goose was well authenticated and that the families and individuals who successively were owners of the goose were highly respectable, and that its history was preserved entire for the period back to 1658, while he naively adds—”How long it was in being prior to that date is uncertain.”  The goose was buried at the spot indicated, and the oaks trees, two in number, of which only one remains now, planted over its grave; but the story, as regards the age, must be looked upon as apocryphal.”

One wonders what on Earth Sir James Frazer might have made of this tale!

References:

  1. Porteous, Alexander, Annals of St. Fillans, Crieff 1912.
  2. Porteous, Alexander, Forest Folklore, Mythology and Romance, George Allen: London 1928.

© Paul BennettThe Northern Antiquarian

Goose Oaks

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Goose Oaks 56.392636, -4.120011 Goose Oaks

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