Our earliest tangible links with the history of the area
are the two pairs of giant antlers which stand in the entrance hall at Arbuthnott House.
They were found in a nearby peat-bog. These forebears of the Red Deer must have roamed the
oak forests which then covered the lower ground some 6,000 years ago. Humans, if any,
would have been nomadic hunters and food-gatherers.
In the Stone Age, men came from the west and started to
cultivate the higher ground. They were the first of many migrants who came and settled
over the ages.
In about 2000 BC, the Bronze Age 'Beaker Folk' (named after
the drinking vessels found in their graves) came from across the North Sea. Their legacy
is the standing stones or megaliths to be found in the area.
Later in the Iron Age came the Celtic invaders, bringing
their more advanced forms of agriculture. Subsequently, they became dominated by the
Pictish culture which gave many local places the names they still have to this day, such
as Alpitty and Pitcarles.
Christianity was introduced by missionaries some time after
940 AD when the ancient Kirk of Saint Ternan was founded at Arbuthnott.
The Norman Kings of Scotland were annexing this area in the
twelfth century. By this time Arbuthnott had evolved into a Celtic thanage, with its
well-sited stronghold and the fertile lands necessary to support it. It was just such a
property with which the Normans awarded their followers in return for their loyalty and
service. The feudal system had arrived, and with it the founding of the family which was
to own, cherish and nurture the land for the next 800 years, and whose descendants were to
travel to and settle in many different parts of the world.
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