Abernethy, Perth and Kinross

Abernethy, Perth and Kinross

Infobox UK place
official_name = Abernethy
gaelic_name= Obar Neithich
country = Scotland
population= 945 [cite web|publisher=Scotland's Census Results Online|title =Comparative Population Profile: Abernethy Locality | url=http://www.scrol.gov.uk/scrol/browser/profile.jsp?profile=Population&mainArea=abernethy&mainLevel=Locality | date = 2001-04-29| accessdate =2008-08-31 ] (2001 census)
est. 1,350 [http://www.gro-scotland.gov.uk/statistics/publications-and-data] (2006)
os_grid_reference = NO189163
latitude = 56.33302
longitude = -3.31163
unitary_scotland = Perth and Kinross
lieutenancy_scotland = Perth and Kinross
post_town= PERTH
postcode_district = PH2 9xx
postcode_area= PH
dial_code= 01738 85
Abernethy ( _gd. Obar Neithich) is a village in Perth and Kinross, Scotland, situated eight miles south-east of Perth. It has one of Scotland's two surviving Irish-style round towers (the other is at Brechin, Angus; both are in the care of Historic Scotland). The key for the round tower can be obtained from a nearby café, and it is possible to climb to the top, using a modern metal spiral staircase (the Tower originally had several wooden floors linked by ladders). It was once the 'capital' (or at least a major religious and political centre) of the Pictish kingdom. The tower was evidently built in two stages (shown by a change in the masonry), and probably dates to the 11th-early 12th centuries. The parish church is dedicated to St Bridget of Kildare (fl. 451-525), and the church is said to have been founded by Dairlugdach, second abbess of Kildare, one of early Christian Ireland's major monasteries, on land given by Nechtan, king of the Picts.

Abernethy may have been the seat of an early Pictish bishopric, its diocese extending westward along Strathearn. In the 12th century the bishop's seat was moved to Muthill, then Dunblane, but Abernethy remained the site of a small priory of Augustinian cannons, founded 1272. This priory was suppressed in favour of a collegiate church under the patronage of the Douglas Earls of Angus, in the 15th century. Remains of the collegiate church survived until 1802 within the present village graveyard, when they were replaced by the present plain red sandstone church, which is still dedicated to St Bridget.

The village's name is Celtic, meaning 'confluence of the Nethy' (ie. with the River Tay), the earliest recorded form being "Apurnethige". The Nethy Burn flows down from the Ochil Hills past the present village. Several pieces of Pictish or early medieval sculpture have been found in Abernethy, including an incomplete Pictish symbol stone attached to the base of the round tower. The location "Afarnach's Hall" referred to in the earliest mediaeval Arthurian literature is usually identified as Abernethy.

A recently opened small museum, open in the summer, has exhibits on the history of the village.

Over the years local industry and commerce has largely declined. A post office, bakery and newsagent are the only shops remaining on the Main Street. However, the village still manages to support two local pubs.


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