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Fortingall

Trip Planner Europe  /  UK  /  Scotland  /  Perth and Kinross  /  Fortingall
Fortingall is a small village in highland Perthshire, Scotland, in Glen Lyon. Its nearest sizable neighbours are Aberfeldy and Kenmore. Its Gaelic name is Fartairchill, which may be translated as something like: "Escarpment Church", i.e. "church at the foot of an escarpment or steep slope".According to legend it was the birthplace of Pontius Pilate who was born well before the Roman conquest. A number of other locations, including villages in Spain and Germany, make similar claims. It is also famous for its churchyard yew tree that is said to be the oldest living thing in Europe, over 5000 years old.Parish churchThe parish church is on an early Christian site, dedicated to Coeddi, bishop of Iona (died 712), probably founded about 700 AD from Iona itself as a daughter monastery. Though undocumented, crop-marks of surrounding ditched enclosures have been identified from the air, and the church's unusual dedication and fragments of several finely carved cross-slabs preserved in the church all point to an early origin as a major church site. Also preserved in an alcove in the church is an early hand-bell in Irish style (iron with bronze coating), dating from the 7th or 8th century, one of several to have survived in Highland Perthshire. Several slabs with simple incised crosses (best paralleled at Iona and other west of Scotland sites) and a massive early font are to be seen in the churchyard. The attractive white-harled parish church (built 1901-02), notable for its fine woodwork, is open in summer. Its Arts and Crafts style was designed to harmonise with the rest of the village. A permanent display on the cross-slabs and the early church was recently installed in the building. Fortingall has one of the largest collections of early medieval sculpture in Scotland.
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