Fair Helen Irving of Kirkconnel Lea


Love Story of Helen Irving and Adam Fleming : 1610 a.d.

Helen was a beautiful young woman from high stature.  Her family had intentions of her marrying a man of the same station by the name of Richard Bell of Blacket House.  It saddened her family that Helen fell in love with a simple commoner, Adam Fleming.  Helen pledged her heart to Adam so they decided they would secretly meet until they could determine a way to be together forever while avoiding the storm it would cause within her family.

Unfortunately, the family choice Richard, was a jealous suitor.  He heard of Fair Helen’s plan to meet Adam at the Kirkconnel church yard one evening and decided to lurk in the shadows and await the best moment to remove the rival separating him from beautiful Helen.  The plan was thwarted when he hastily made the shot after Helen saw his intentions.  She lunged in front of her love and took his bullet in her heart.  When Adam saw his love was dead,  he attacked Richard with vengeance.  Now with both Helen and Richard dead, he knew he would be blamed for both murders and fled the area.  He was not seen again until a caretaker making rounds in the cemetery saw a man draped over Fair Helen’s tombstone.  Adam had returned to die beside his true love, Helen.  The Irving family agreed to let this man who loved their daughter so much for so long be buried beside her.  They knew that is what Helen would have wanted.

It is a popular custom to have a Fair Helen bust in romantic cottages, as it represents undying love.

fair helen bust

Bust of Fair Helen of Kirkconnel Lea

This is the version of the story, I read recently.  I am not sure of all accuracy of the facts.  There is a book that I would like to read by Andrew Greig.  It is supposedly a historically accurate tale called Fair Helen.  I enjoy having the romantic representation in the cabin.  It is thought provoking even if we may not ever know all the real facts.

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