The Abriachan Font Stone
(St Columbas' Font Stone)
Under the shady branches of the hazel trees rustling above, this mysterious hole sunk into granite schist, sits, enveloped in tales of religion and magic.
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 this 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 the foundation stone of a house, used to support the central wooden roof pole – or more functional still, a partially constructed millstone.
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!!