If you’re walking through the Abriachan Gardens you will come across a heart-shape stone which is deeply embedded in the ground called the Font Stone. The flat rock has a hole in the middle which is filled with water.
The stone is within the Abriachan Community Gardens, if you follow the path up through the gardens to the left it’s about 3/4 of the way up. The gardens here are definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area.
There is some dispute over the origins of the stone; some associate it with St. Columba, others with St. Finian’s monastic cell, whilst some claim it’s just a post-hole from a normal house. However, what isn’t disputed is the claim that the water hole is never dry, no matter what the weather is like, and if it’s emptied then it will refill itself quickly. It is a mystery where the water comes from, but it is believed to have apotropaic as well as healing qualities.
As recently the 20th century, drops of water from the Font Stone were put in the baptismal bowls of newly born babies believing that this would relieve the pain of childbirth, and women would also secretly let their infant have a taste of the magical water before being baptised by the minister at the church. It was thought that the water would help keep fairies away from the child, and pieces of cloth were even kept around the stones, and were later worn by the child as an anti-fairy talisman.