St Columba's Font Stone - An Abriachan Mystery

At Abriachan we have the wonderful and not very widely known St Columba’s Font Stone
Under the shady branches of the hazel trees, this mysterious hole sunk into granite schist, sits, surrounded in tales of religion and magic.
If you were to ask around and you’ll find no two people readily agree on the origins or intended use of this man-made hollow.
The most common tale attributes its beginnings to St. Columba, who passed our way in the 6th century.

Was it the base for a cross?
Was the water within used to anoint and purify?

Is there some darker and more pagan usage hidden in the mists of time?
Certainly, there is a belief that the water is of benefit to women in childbirth, and even until recent years, a few drops have been know to be added to baptismal bowls of infants!
There are also less romantic notions, that it is simply a foundation stone of a house, used to support the central wooden roof pole–or more functional still, a partially constructed millstone. You can see it is still attached to a much larger rock, maybe a work in progress

Decide for yourself! – For whilst its purpose may have faded into history, the stone still commands a mystical presence, adding to the wealth of folk-law and myth that penetrates Scotland.

A final thought – The hole, unattached to any underground spring, and sunk in the most impermeable of stone, has never been known to run dry! Even in the driest summers.

West can be frequently caught red handed slurping the water out of the stone - he just doesn't appreciate history.  However he is already several years over the average Vizla age, so maybe he's on to something.


  1. I love these kinds of posts. I love history, and I loved living in England. WE traveled quite a bit but I never did see your Font Stone. I wish I had, I think it beautiful.

  2. I have a painting of the hole stone dated 1966 when my grandmother owned the house at Abriachan.


Thank you for leaving a comment - it is always great to hear about other peoples gardens and lives. If you ever drop by the nursery, make sure you say hello. (Margaret & Donald)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...