Abernethy Church © Rosslyn Templars
Abernethy Church © Rosslyn Templars

Nothing remains of Abernethy Collegiate Church and even the present Parish Church is experiencing problems and is undergoing extensive repair and renovation.

Abernethy appears to have had an early community of Culdees (who provided a Celtic, rather than Roman, view of Christianity) and who were succeeded by Augustinians about 1273 – the Order founding a priory there at that time. This priory was transformed in to collegiate church during first half of the 14th century. Margaret, countess of Angus, is stated to be the the Patron of the church in 1364 although it is clear that her patronage began some considerable time earlier. Margaret was the eldest daughter an co-heiress of Sir Alexander Abernethy. She married the Earl of Angus about 1328.

As other pages in this web site testify, one of the most common arrangements for the establishment and maintenance of Scottish collegiate churches was for a locally powerful family to build, in addition to their fortified living place (often a castle), a collegiate church for their own use. This pattern is seen, for example, at Rosslyn Castle & Rosslyn Chapel and at Bothwell Castle & Bothwell Collegiate Church. At Abernethy we find an apparent contradiction to this pattern. However, when one considers the history of Abernethy Collegiate Church one realises why Abernethy was not of this type. One suspects that women of Margaret’s status had the ability to see beyond the immediate spiritual needs of the family.

The history of Abernethy Collegiate Church will be further explored on this page. To be continued…

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