Abernethy Round Tower

Abernethy Round Tower.  The tapering tower is approximately 22 metres high and 5 metres in diameter.

Abernethy Round Tower. The tapering tower is approximately 22 metres high and 5 metres in diameter.

Date

25 August 2016

Location

School Wynd, Abernethy, Perth and Kinross
NO 19003 16372; 56.33274°N, 3.31158°W

Information

The 22-metre-high, freestanding round tower in Abernethy is one of only two of the Irish Celtic type in Scotland, the other one being in Brechin, Angus. Abernethy’s tower is thought to have been built in the 11th century. Although its original purpose is unclear, the tower has been used as a bell tower for the adjacent church, a purpose that it continues to serve. The tower’s bell is dated 1782 and the clock dates from 1868.

Irish round towers served primarily as bell towers and it is thought that around 100 were built in Ireland from the 10th to the 13th century, of which around 10 still survive intact. Outside of Ireland only three are known of – the two in Scotland plus a third one on the Isle of Man

The tower is a Category A listed building and is in the care of Historic Environment Scotland.

Further Reading

Abernethy Round Tower (Historic Environment Scotland);
Abernethy Round Tower (Undiscovered Scotland)

Abernethy Round Tower

Abernethy Round Tower

Abernethy Round Tower

Abernethy Round Tower

'Jougs' – similar in purpose to village stocks.  Those being punished would be shackled around the neck and kept here in public view.

‘Jougs’ – similar in purpose to village stocks. Those being punished would be shackled around the neck and kept here in public view.

Pictish symbol stone.  This was discovered in School Wynd in Abernethy and then mounted at the base of the tower in the 20th century.  The meaning of the symbols in not known.

Pictish symbol stone. This was discovered in School Wynd in Abernethy and then mounted at the base of the tower in the 20th century. The meaning of the symbols in not known.

The entrance to the tower is in the corner of Abernethy Churchyard.

The entrance to the tower is in the corner of Abernethy Churchyard.

The metal spiral staircase was installed in 1982.

The metal spiral staircase was installed in 1982.

View from the top of the tower.

View from the top of the tower.

View from the top of the tower.

View from the top of the tower.

View from the top of the tower.

View from the top of the tower.

Key to the tower.  Entry to the tower is free and the key can be obtained from the Berryfields Tearoom across the road.

Key to the tower. Entry to the tower is free and the key can be obtained from the Berryfields Tearoom across the road.

Berryfields Tearoom

Berryfields Tearoom

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10 thoughts on “Abernethy Round Tower

  1. That’s incredible! So, anyone who wants to enter the tower, needs to borrow a key from the tearoom? I guess that makes sense since it could get crowded quickly if the tower were left open for whomever wished to see it. Fascinating and mysterious tower!

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