The Fortingall Yew is an ancient European yew (Taxus baccata) in the Fortingall churchyard. Estimates have put its age at between 1,500 and 5,000 years and it is claimed to be the oldest tree in Britain. Some even claim it to be the oldest tree in the world. The yew tree is adjacent to the hotel. The consensus on its age appears to be around 3,000 years.
Yew tree seedlings from Fortingall can be purchased from the hotel.
There is strong evidence that Fortingall was an important Christian Centre as early as the 7th century AD, when missionaries from the monastery on the Island of Iona (on Scotland's west coast), came to preach to the Picts at Fortingall. Fortingall was an important route for monks from the Celtic church going to meet emissaries from the Roman churches in Northumbria.
A 7th century Celtic hand-bell of a type that is common in Ireland, and used by missionaries of the Columba church on Iona, can be seen in Fortingall Church located in a small nook in the church wall.
Pictish stones. There are a number of very well preserved Pictish stone crosses that can been seen inside the church. These were recovered from the walls of the old church which was demolished in 1902. They are very well preserved due to being protected from the elements for many centuries, as a result of being buried within the church walls.
Celtic Font. A large font can be seen just to the right of the church entrance. This font is of a very early form, believed to date back to the 7th century.
7th century incised cross slabs. You can see this standing against the south wall of the church, (next to it is an early medieval slab with the three crosses). The incised cross slab is believed to be from the 7th century and of a type common in Ireland and in the ancient Scottish kingdom of Dalriada (south of Oban in Argyll), but not seen elsewhere.
The church yard. Take your time to wander through Fortingall churchyard and you will find some fascinating grave stones, including one dated 1715 marking where a local stone mason is buried. It has a hammer, trowel, set square and plumb line marked on his grave slab.
Fortingall Church is Church of Scotland and the minister is the Rev. Anne Brennan. Couples who wish to enquire about arranging a wedding in the church, followed by a reception in the hotel, should contact the hotel. We can put you in touch with the Rev. Brennan.