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ROYAL BALLOCH –  Some of you will have walked past it many times – a mound of earth surrounded by a shallow ditch, in Balloch Park just where Loch Lomond flows into the River Leven.  The mound is all that’s left of the ancient Balloch Castle and the ditch was once a deep moat. From the 1200s Balloch Castle was the seat of the Earls of Lennox (later the Darnley Stewarts). Matthew, 4th Earl of Lennox, had a son – Henry Lord Darnley. Henry married Mary Queen of Scots and they had a son who became King James Sixth of Scots and First of the United Kingdom. The man who gave us the King James Authorised version of the Bible. In this way it can be seen that the present royal family can be traced back to this little bit of woodland at the source of the River Leven. W. Scobie

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