Scone Palace
Scone, near Perth.

Initial part of the palace was built in the 12th century, and has been added to in the centuries since.

Scone is a village, just across the River Tay from the city of Perth.

Before I continue, a word or two about pronunciation.

Scone (Sgàin) the place, and the palace, is pronounced like "scoon". Rhymes with the Scots word "toon" (town).

Scone (sgona) the semi-sweet bread, is pronounced like "scon". Rhymes with the English word "gone".

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A very short distance from Scone Palace is the chapel on Moot Hill (Tom-a-mhoid/Collis Credulitatis). This is the hugely significant location where the Kings of Scots were crowned from the 9th century onwards (and possibly much earlier).

The crowning ceremony was quite probably conducted in two parts: a Christian element in Scone Abbey and the, much older, "pagan" ceremony outside on the hill.

Scone was, in this early period, the capital of Scotland and a royal centre.

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The most significant part of the ceremony was the future king being placed on the Lia Fàil. This was the large rectangular block of stone, which in English is known as the the "Stone of Destiny" or "Stone of Scone".

During the Wars of Independence (1296) King Edward 1 of England stole the stone. It then sat in Westminster Abbey until 1950.

A replica of the stone sits outside the chapel in Scone.

Many believe, me included, that the stone taken by Edward wasn't the real one.

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On Christmas Day 1950, four Scottish students (Ian Hamilton, Gavin Vernon, Kay Matheson & Alan Stuart) removed the Stone from Westminster Abbey and returned it to Scotland.

A massive search was conducted by the British gvernment, but the Stone wasn't discovered. After 4 months the Stone was left on the altar of Arbroath Abbey. The Stone went back to Westminster.

Yet again there are rumours that the Stone returned to Westminster wasn't the original.

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In 1996 the Stone was returned to Scotland, and housed in Edinburgh Castle, alongside the Honours of Scotland (crown, sceptre etc.). You will note that 1996 was the 700th anniversary of the Stone being stolen.

The Scottish Government are consulting on a proposal to house the Stone in Perth city centre, just a couple of miles from its former home. The consultation ends on September 19th. You can have you say here:

There is a great wee movie called
Stone of Destiny (2008) which tells the (slightly fictionalised) story of the Stones removal from Westminster Abbey. It stars Charlie Cox, as Ian Hamilton, and was written and directed by Charles Martin Smith.

To get a better idea of the real events surrounding the Stone's removal, in 1950, you should read the book "A Touch Of Treason" by Ian Hamilton. Highly recommended.

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