Visit Abernethy

To visit Abernethy would not be complete without exploring the Pictish chapel and Round Tower.

The two mile Baiglie Straight, once part of the main Perth to Edinburgh road, leads southeast out of Bridge of Allan. Turning left at the Baiglie Inn the road passes through the hamlet of Aberargie, before arriving in Abernethy, an ancient and historic town. Due to its proximity, the lanscape is is charateristically Fife. Looking north across the River Tay towards the heigts of the Monteith Hills and the Carse of Gowrie. Towards the south-west is Castle Law, a historic ancient hill fort, towering above the town.

The town itself has built up around the famous Round Tower, an early mediaeval monument of sandstone. This 74 foot tower is thought to date from around the ninth century (although the Romanesque arches at the top suggest the eleventh) and may have been built as a refuge from the Vikings using the River Tay on route to access central Scotland. It is also possible due to its importance, that in 1072, William the Conqueror visited when he received the homage of Malcolm Canmore (King Malcolm III) (1031-1093). The only other similar tower in Scotland is at Brechin, although there are many more in Ireland.

At the base of the tower is part of a seventh century Pictish stone. It potrays the familiar tuning fork symbol and below it part of a crescent and V-rod. Beside the stone and attached to the tower at head height are mediaeval ‘jougs'

Nearby is the parish church dedicated to St Bride and proudly proclaims an original though questionable foundation date of 457. Almost a millennium later the town became a burgh of barony, hence the date 1458 at the top of the town cross.

The Museum of Abernethy was opened in May 2000. The building, stands within the lands of the old Culdees monastery, dates from the eighteenth century. Originally consisting of a byre, stable and cattle rede, it was renovated during the 1990s to house the Museum. In keeping with the aim of preserving the building's heritage, some of the original features, such as the internal stone walls and an area of cobbled floor, have been left visible. Admission is free but donations are gratefully accepted. Opening hours are: Mid May until beginning of October Thursday-Sunday 1pm – 5pm.

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