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Ancient bell dating back 1200 years stolen from church

The Celtic artefact was stolen from a locked cage at a church in Perthshire.

Theft: Bell is 'irreplaceable'.
Theft: Bell is 'irreplaceable'. Contributed/ nz_willowherb

An ancient Celtic hand-bell dating back to the seventh century has been stolen from a church.

The artefact is believed to have been taken from Fortingall Church, near Aberfeldy in Perthshire, between Sunday, September 3, and Friday.

It had been in the possession of the Fortingall and Glenlyon Church for around 1200 years.

The quadrangular iron bell is coated with bronze and had been encased behind a locked metal cage in a niche purposely built into the church's wall.

The thieves had broken into the cage and stolen the bell.

'It's got no monetary value, but in other ways it's completely irreplaceable.'
Rev Anne Brennan

Reverend Anne Brennan said: "We are all just really upset that somebody would take something of such historical value.

"It's got no monetary value, but in other ways it's completely irreplaceable, not just for the church but for the whole area.

"We'd just like to have it back, we would be happy to have it back however."

The parish church is on an early Christian site, dedicated to Coeddi, bishop of Iona.

It is believed to have been founded from the Hebridean island as a daughter monastery, around the year 700.

Any information which may lead to the bell's return is being asked by Police Scotland to call 101 quoting reference number CR/23634/17.

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