Second hand books and murder at Abernethy Old Kirk

Recently Ken spotted this derelict home off the road that runs across the moorland between here and Grantown, so of course we had to stop and investigate – he only takes me to the best places. It’s a great fixer upper but you’d have to survive without electricity and mains running water. Apart from that it’s fabulous with an open fire, an intact roof and walls, and next to it is another building that would make a perfect garage which would be essential for my car crazy husband.ย 

Our destination was Abernethy Old Kirk (church) which we’d seen a sign saying there was a book sale on, so wanted to investigate. The Old Kirk is just outside Nethy Bridge and has a fabulous graveyard and this very interesting hut in the grounds.

Before we went into the older part of the graveyard I noticed this really interesting modern headstone – it’s a lovely chunk of granite with the yin and yang symbol on it.

Lovely Celtic knotwork on headstones.

Really quaint little headstone, covered in moss and lichen, with the writing on a book.

This is the Old Kirk – there is evidence of a church on this site since the 12th century but this building was built in 1767. There is also some thought that there may have been a pictish settlement here as these sites were often reused by Christians for their sacred sites.

I love how the lichen on the headstones looks almost like marbled stone.

Very ornate and well preserved stone.

The below headstone is for Police Constable James Fraser who died July 19th, 1878 aged 39. According to the Police Roll of Honour Trust he was fatally stabbed attempting to arrest an armed and deranged suspect.

There are some lovely carved memorials on the walls of the Kirk, but I particularly liked this one as it has a little mouse stuck to the bottom of it.

In the Kirk they often have historic displays – at the moment there is a really poignant and interesting display on the first world war. German barbed wire from the Somme.

Uniform of the highlanders in the first world war.

Artefacts from the war and the baskets in the front are examples of crafts that soldiers who were wounded would make during rehab, especially the ones who had been blinded.

Remembrance tree – people can write messages on the luggage tags and hang them on the tree.

The inside of the Kirk is quite unusual in the layout but very pretty as well. As you can see the second hand books were spread out around the building.

The volunteers of the Old Kirk Association were also providing homemade cake and hot drinks to raise more money for the upkeep of the building. And of course we had to have some as it would have been rude not too. It was really lovely sitting in such a historic space enjoying freshly baked cake and surrounded by lovely books.

I found three cat related books to add to my collection, one which was published in the 1940’s and has poems, quotes, and stories about cats.

One of the volunteers met us in the graveyard when we first arrived and pointed out lots of interesting facts about the site, including the fact that there are two murdered policemen buried there. I’ve already featured Constable Fraser, and now is the story of Constable Thomas King who was shot by a poacher when attempting to issue a warrant for failure to pay a 5 shilling fine. In the Kirk they have a copy of the newspaper article about the death and it tells how the widow, Jessie King, was so devastated that she and their seven children moved to Australia and settled in Queensland.

Here is Thomas’s grave and as you can see, one of his sons who died in Australia had his ashes interred here as well.ย 

This stone font which is outside the entrance to the Kirk is thought to be a remnant from the sixth century.

These beautiful and very friendly horses were across the road from the Kirk – I spent quite a bit of time chatting to them.

Overlooking the Old Kirk is the remains of Castle Roy, which was built by the Clan Comyn in the 11th century.

After our lovely interlude at the Abernethy Old Kirk we drove to Boat of Garten for a look see as the only other time we’ve been here was when we stopped at the train station on our lovely steam train journey – see blog postย HERE. Lovely autumnal colours.

We found a fabulous cafe/gallery to stop at – I know we’ve already had cake, so instead we had something sensible to eat. The art in the gallery was so good and there were so many things I could’ve bought if I was much richer and had a bigger house.

We found these metal postcards in the ground outside the station – there were a couple of groups and then there were lots of single ones spaced out around the carpark. Really nice, quirky think that I bet not everyone notices as they walk over the top of them.

Sculpture outside the station – what do you think, leaf or feather?

This is the lovely community garden which is next to the station – before 1968 this space was used to grow vegetables for the station master. The colours in the garden are beautiful at the moment as all the leaves are changing.

My beloved and Bramble – no we haven’t started dressing her up, she still has to wear her vet shirt to stop her from licking her surgical wound, but when she’s walking we tuck it up so she doesn’t pee on it.

Plant display in a boat at the entrance to the garden.

That’s it for today, until next time be good, stay safe, and have a really good week.
Pamela & Ken

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