Boleskine – A Visit in 1996

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Here are details of Doug Brown’s visit to Boleskine in 1996. For those that don’t know Doug, he was the originator of the archive website which was subsequently absorbed into

My 1st Trip To Boleskine

By Doug Brown

During the summer of this year, 1996 , I paid a visit to the “Mecca” for all Crowley/Page followers..


The following article is the result of a request from the o­nline Thelemic Journal , where it appears now. My thanks go to B.M.G for his support and I have added the piece, which preluded my article, at the bottom of the page.

The drive to Loch Ness is o­ne of the nicest trips I have been o­n in a long time. Heading up the West bank of Loch Lomond over the Rannoch Moor to the spectacularly eerie Glen Coe gives o­ne a real taste of the ever changing and remarkable scenery which no doubt was a factor in Crowley’s decision to settle in the Highlands. Plus the fact, in his day, there was no o­ne there!! These days the roads are taken up with visitors from all sorts of countries; Germans, Italians, Americans & English being the most likely spotted o­n the roads and at the stops along the way.

From Glen Coe up to Fort William we continue o­n to Fort Augustus, the base town for most jaunts about Loch Ness. This trip takes a good 3 hours from Glasgow (for anyone thinking of going). After dinner we decided to drive up the East coast of the Loch towards Foyers (Boleskine being not far from it). 13 miles of stunning scenery later, we arrived in Foyers.

Foyers is basically a Hotel and an old sub post office (looks like it dates from before the war, although the prices aren’t 🙂

I decided to carry o­n and get my first glimpse of the house. If you are going, leave Foyers slowly ‘cos if you blink you’ll miss it 🙂 It is noted by the cemetery across the road from it. The house itself is everything I thought it would be: Impressive!

It really is beautiful, as is the view of the Loch from it. You really get an impression of timelessness from the whole area surrounding it. Time getting o­n, we camped back down the road outside Foyers. In the morning we cycled out to Boleskine again.

First stop was Boleskine cemetery, because of it’s mention in the article in Loaded magazine (UK July 1996, thanks Paul). We visited the small stone building which had a small wooden staircase up to a wood floor room. The room contained a well used fireplace. Above it someone had (impressively ) scrawled a Hexagram; next to that someone had also written 666. Anyone not knowing the history of the area would at this point probably be shittin’ themselves. A look to the far wall and you’d see “Love Is The Law”, probably scrawled by a burnt piece of wood, by the looks of it.

Also, visitors to the building have scrawled their names everywhere (ala Pere Lechaise, Morrison’s grave!). It is a cool place to look at, though I would distance myself slightly from this kind of behavior (the graffiti I mean), as it is the kind of thing which would, and does “believe me!!”, give visitors like myself a bad name.

It was my intention from the very start not to infringe o­n anyone’s privacy or day to day life. This is part of my {then} philosophy of being more of a watcher than a participant in all things occult & magick.

On to the gates of the house, which were locked.

They are black wrought iron with gold eagles ornamenting each gate post. Most impressive. Next to the gates is a gate house, which although in good condition, looked uninhabited.

If you go along the road at the front of the house you can see about half of the front of the house. Not satisfied with this view, I went into the field at the side of the house. This gave me a great view of the front. Anyone who has seen pics of it will be familiar with the tear drop lamp post at the front door, the long front house (even longer at the side!!!) and the bow windows. I was closest to the right hand bow window (which is said to have been Crowley’s temple) and could o­nly see a lampshade inside the actual house. I did not want to go further towards the house as I could clearly hear someone working behind it. My view (from about 100 yds) was quite sufficient for what I wanted. Going further up the side of the house, the back garden is completely obscured by trees. I was happy with this view of the great man’s dwelling, and then admired the spectacular view of the Loch from the house.

I noted a few things which some of us have discussed in the past. Boleskine is NOT being turned into a cafe! This was in no way apparent and seems a bit unlikely with its position o­n the East bank of the sparsely populated side of the loch. Most tourists go the West bank, which has more facilities. So lets put that rumour to bed (I hope!!!!)

There is a face of rock behind Boleskine. This is the same o­ne used in TSRTS where (Jimmy) Page climbs to meet himself as the Hermit.

I was happy with my visit to Boleskine and would urge anyone who would like to go… to go. I don’t think you will be disappointed.

I would also say that the house looks like it is being used as a HOME, so I thought it improper to annoy someone who was just trying to get o­n with life. Just think how you would feel. I hope you share my thoughts o­n this. And I would like to hear from anyone who goes in the future for their opinions of the house and the surrounding area.



The following is what BMG preceded the article with :-

In 1899 e.v. Aleister Crowley was rapidly rising through the grades of the Outer Order of the Golden Dawn. As a result of these early magickal efforts, he determined to undertake the Abramelin Operation, the book having been introduced to him by Macgregor Mathers. In August of that year, Crowley found a manor house that suited his purposes. Located o­n the South-East side of Loch Ness in Scotland, Boleskine House has become a focus of much Thelemic attention. It’s name adds up to 418, and because of the mention of this in The Book of the Law, the house has been taken as the Thelemic Kaaba, being “the House of the Beast”, ever since.

The house’s modern history is sometimes difficult to follow. It’s most famous owner since Crowley was the rock legend Jimmy Page, an avid Crowley collector who ran an occult bookstore in England. Page sold the house in 1990 e.v. to private owners. Rumors and speculation have persisted, but a reader of The Thelemic Journal has offered the following report of a recent trip to the house.


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