Fritzl Alberchtsberger built Rookscroft to remind him of home. It is rumored that he stalked the grounds wearing lederhosen and drinking his home brewed beer from a giant stein. He loved the forest and the mountains, but there were two things he missed terribly from his childhood. The first was the red deer, (especially the bucks with their huge velvet covered antlers) and the second, the bristly black wild boar who rummaged through the underbrush looking for truffles. Poor Fritzl, missed them so very badly that he created a small zoo of sorts behind the main house and in the early 1900's had his beloved animals imported at great expense. They arrived in crates marked "dieser Weg" and "leben Sie Wesen, kann beißen" which I believe means "this way up" and "live creatures, may bite" (parts of the crate are still in the old carriage house).
Unfortunately it is said these wayward beasts were players in the story of his ultimate demise...but that's probably a tale best left for another day.
It is rumored that old Fritzl lost the plot towards the end. He was always in fine spirits...the life of every party in fact, until by degrees he began to shun his human friends and claimed to be spending his time with a host of creatures he had met in the woods. He would often go missing for days, that and the fact that he was the only one who had actually seen them, led to considerable concern for his welfare, although his wife Isolde did not seem to mind.
Carved likenesses of many of his woodland cohorts can be found around the house to this day...the wild gyspy bears are my favorite
Frizl and his wife Isolde, spent their lives making legendary beer that they crafted with the fresh spring water they found high up on the mountain. To have a ready supply, they fashioned a deep pond, now home to several huge catfish and some wonderful frogs. I found this picture of the old pond, in
an old shoebox in the attic.
This is a little illustration that I made for my new book to show the location of Rookscroft on the side of the mountain. Behind the house to the left you can see the Wild Woods and to the right the path that winds through a woodland of alders up to the little church.
Below the house, the land sweeps down quite steeply all the way to the sea. There is, however, a small clearing quite far down and tucked back in among the trees I have been told is a little speakeasy with a tin roof and wide porch.
The Mountain is really a little island, almost cut off from the mainland by sea. The only way to reach it is the white knuckle ride over Obsidian Pass or a fast drive over the cobbled causeway at low tide.
This is a sketch of the path as it winds down to the sea, there is a lovely little cove where I found the messages in bottles and a sandy little beach edged with white driftwood.