In Abernethy, they don't make Abernethy biscuits... WAAAAGGGHH! The name
of that biscuit actually comes from Doctor John Abernethy, who wasn't
from Abernethy but
'invented' them (can biscuits be 'invented'?) way back
in some-time-or-other as a healthy
biscuit that would improve one's digestion. Healthy biscuits - almost
sounds like some sort of promotional campaign that a supermarket might
come up with!
Abernethy is, I have to say, a rather attractive little place. There's
not a great deal to it, but what little there is feels good. It's got a
tower, a round tower so unusual that it is only one of two on the
Scottish mainland. Part of the tower goes back as far as the 11th century, and may have
been constructed by Irish masons. If you look at Abernethy's past, you
see that the Culdees were involved. The Culdees were a
religious group who seemed to like building unusual towers. There's one,
for example, at Muthill, although that one's not round. The Culdees'
coat of arms or whatever you wish to call it includes a red hand, and why that
should be I'm not entirely sure. The red hand is an ancient symbol.
The main thing about Abernethy is its Pictish roots. It was indeed at
one time the southern Pictish Capital of Scotland, so it was an
important place. Today, you can still see remnants of that Pictish
greatness, like in the carved symbol stone at the entrance to the old
church, whose symbols include a hammer. But is it a Pictish hammer, or
the hammer of an Irish monk?