Ancient Monuments

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Fortingall, rectilinear enclosure south west of

A Scheduled Monument in Highland, Perth and Kinross

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Latitude: 56.5977 / 56°35'51"N

Longitude: -4.0505 / 4°3'1"W

OS Eastings: 274200

OS Northings: 746973

OS Grid: NN742469

Mapcode National: GBR JCC8.WW3

Mapcode Global: WH4LT.RFCG

Entry Name: Fortingall, rectilinear enclosure SW of

Scheduled Date: 1 February 1999

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM8123

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Ecclesiastical: enclosure; Prehistoric ritual and funerary: cairn (type uncertain)

Location: Fortingall

County: Perth and Kinross

Electoral Ward: Highland

Traditional County: Perthshire


The monument comprises an enclosure, probably of early medieval date, visible as a cropmark on oblique aerial photographs.

The monument lies in arable farmland at around 120m OD. It comprises a sub-rectangular enclosure measuring about 200m E-W, the E end and SW corner of which are visible as cropmarks. The enclosure is defined by a single ditch measuring about 3m wide. The corners of the enclosure are rounded, and traces of a second, concentric enclosing ditch are visible at the W end of the enclosure. The enclosure surrounds the site of Fortingall Church.

This church is thought to occupy the site of a much earlier one, and references are made to a church at Fortingall as early as the 13th century. The discovery of fragments of a Pictish cross slab in the fabric of the previous church during its demolition in 1900 attests further to the site's status as an early monastic centre. The enclosure is therefore likely to represent a monastic vallum, and probably dates to the early medieval period.

Immediately to the SW of the enclosure is a cairn measuring about 12m N-S by about 9m transversely, standing to a height of about 1m. Although the cairn is thought to mark the site of the burial of plague victims in the 14th century, it may be a funerary monument dating to the Neolithic or Bronze Age.

The area proposed for scheduling comprises the remains described and an area around them within which related material may be expected to be found. It is irregular with dimensions of 310m from its E-most point to its W-most point by a maximum of 185m, bounded on the N and NW by a road and a fence. The road, which runs through part of the area proposed for scheduling, is excluded. The area is marked in red on the accompanying map extract.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance because of its potential to contribute to our understanding of early medieval monastic settlement and the subsequent development of ecclesiastical establishments.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NN 74 NW 4 and 39.

Aerial Photographs used:

RCAHMS (1986) A30574 NN74NW39-40.

RCAHMS (1986) A30577 NN74NW39-40.


Cowan, I. B. (1967) The parishes of medieval Scotland Scottish Records Society, volume 93 Edinburgh.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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