Schwannomas are encapsulated benign tumours arising from nerve sheath cells, of which ancient schwannoma is one of five variants. Since the first description, only a few ancient schwannomas have been reported in different locations in the head and neck region. In the parotid gland, this tumour is very rare. In this report, a 41-year-old female patient with an ancient schwannoma of the parotid gland is presented and the data of this patient compared with other (comparable) cases described in the literature. (c) 2005 European Association for Cranio-Maxillofacial Surgery.