Just to get this out of the way – How in the heck do you pronounce your crazy shire name?
Loch – like Loch Ness Monster
an – Pretty much how you’d expect it to sound – ‘an or on’
Fhraoich – Ree
All together: Loch-on-ree.
That will get you at least close enough we’ll know you are talking about us.
What is the history behind the name? It’s of Scottish Gaelic origin. It’s actually a lake in the northern UK.
The Shire was not always Loch an Fhraoich.
The name of the shire has undergone a number of transitions over the years but the spark that started the SCA in Bowling Green has endured.
In 1980 a group of friends who enjoyed historical tabletop miniature combat games were hanging out in their normal haunt, Howard’s Bicycle Shop, and one of gang burst in with a tale of people suiting up in armor and fighting on Vanderbilt’s campus in Nashville.
Armed with little more than a rumor, these friends drove down to Nashville looking for what we’d call today a fighter’s practice. Luckily they found some kind SCA folks in Glaedenfeld who welcomed and encouraged the lads who would eventually establish the shire in Bowling Green.
Originally it was the Shire of Bowling Glenn, later it morphed into the Shire of Wolf’s keep, however after being involved with events at the Glasgow Highland Games and availing themselves of heraldic resources at a Pennsic the name Loch an Fhraoich was settled upon and the gauntleted device for the shire was registered. Loch an Fhraoich roughly translate to The Lake of the Heather, which is why our device’s gauntlet is holding a sprig of heather.
It encompasses the area of south central Kentucky, with Bowling Green being in the geographic center of the shire.
When first established all of Kentucky fell into the Kingdom of the Middle. This was slightly problematic for the shire as our kinship with the good folks in Glaedenfeld goes all the way back to the beginning and they reside in the Kingdom of Meridies. Being so far away from most of the activity in the Middle Kingdom created a desire to break away and join our brothers to the south.
The first such attempt was unsuccessful.
There are two stories that tell how of a deal that led to the Shire of Loch an Fhraoich joining the Kingdom of Meridies.
One speaks of a territory swap between the two kingdoms. A shire in Arkansas would go north and we would go south.
The other speaks of the Meridian King of great martial renown, Gareth, pledging his sword to the King of Middle Kingdom for that year’s Pennsic War if the Shire of Loch an Fhraoich could fall under the Meridian crown.
Many people have been members of the shire over the years and the populous has seen cycles of growth and decline, but the shire remains as a tribute to all who have been involved over the years.