An early version of this legend appears in the medieval chronicles of Raphael Holinshead.
One common telling of the tale claims that Pilate’s father, a high-ranking Roman diplomat was sent to Scotland to negotiate a treaty with the Pictish leader, Metallanus.
During these lengthy talks, Pilate’s father married a local woman who bore him a son.
An embellishment of the legend has Pilate playing under the ancient yew tree, which is located in the churchyard at Fortingall.
At its peak in the eighteenth century, the ‘Fortingall Yew’ had a girth of 17m. Today it is a shadow of its former self, having been damaged in the past by fire. Nevertheless, at an estimated 3000 to 7000 years of age, this evergreen tree is the oldest living thing in Europe.
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