Earlier this week, we took a day trip to Scone Palace in Perth. The Palace is not only beautiful and full of rare treasures, but it’s also bursting with important history.
For all those who are wondering, it rhymes with “moon” – not “bone” or “swan”!
The Stone of Destiny
If you’ve visited Edinburgh Castle, then you might have seen The Stone of Destiny sitting alongside the Crown Jewels. But it didn’t always reside in Edinburgh. It has another name – the Stone of Scone.
The Stone was placed on Moot Hill in the Scone Palace grounds and used in the coronation of Kings. The tradition began with the crowning of Kenneth McAlpin when he became the first King of Scotland in 843.
In 1296, the Stone was taken by Edward I to Westminster Abbey where it was fitted into a chair. Since then, most British monarchs have been crowned while sitting on this throne above the Stone – the latest being Queen Elizabeth II, of course!
Before Queen Elizabeth was crowned, however, a group of Scottish students reclaimed the Stone and took it back to Scotland on Christmas Day 1950. After a major search, the Stone was found and returned to Westminster Abbey.
Finally, in 1996, the Stone was given to Edinburgh Castle and returned to Scotland where it remains today.
But . . . there are rumours that the original Stone is hidden somewhere else. Whether by those Scottish students or by someone all the way back in 1296 before even Edward I could claim it, we might never know . . .
Besides being a site of huge historical importance, the Palace also has a collection of rare artefacts.
The helpful guides were only too happy to answer any questions we had and point out items that held particular significance.
In one room, a guide pointed out a tiny but ornate writing desk that intrigued me. It was gifted to the head of the house who had been ambassador to France, by none other than Marie Antoinette herself. What I wouldn’t give to read the letters that have been written on it!
There are plenty of hidden treasures like this to be discovered at the Palace, but I won’t spoil it for those who want to see it for themselves.
The guides really know their stuff, so don’t be shy if you’re planning a visit and want to know more about something, big or small.
So much more to discover . . .
I haven’t even covered half of it! It’s too much to write about in just one post.
There is the fascinating history of the family who has lived there for centuries and lives there still. People of interest include William Murray, 1st Earl of Mansfield and Dido Belle.
Then there are the grounds with its sprawling gardens, maze and roaming peacocks. Perfect to visit on a sunny day.
You really have to see it for yourself. It’s a hidden gem.