Scone – The birthplace of monarchs

MacBeth and Robert the Bruce were crowned there.
The former would have taken the title of King of Scotland while seated upon the famous Stone of Scone.
The latter declared himself king upon the Moot Hill in March 1306.
One way or the other they would have shared the experience at Scone Abbey with every Scottish monarch from Kenneth MacAlpin in the 9th century to King Charles II in January 1651.
With such history is the now-ruined abbey and Scone Palace, whose grounds it sits in, blessed.
The palace itself and the stunning grounds that surround it are full of treasures.

Scone Palace, Scotland

Scone Palace, Scotland

Scone Palace, Scotland

Visitors can spend hours enjoying either attraction, whether it be the huge collections of furniture, clocks, ivories or porcelain found inside the palace, or the beautiful botanical gardens and tree lined pathways outside.
These days Scone Palace is owned by the 8th Earl of Mansfield, William David Murray, and life is somewhat more placid there than in the past.
Kenneth MacAlpin, according to legend, took power in Scotland on the back of the slaughter of the Picts.
The story goes that he invited Pictish King Drostan and all his nobles to banquet with him at Scone.
While they were seated, and perhaps taking advantage of their gluttony of both drink and food, the Scots drew out the bolts supporting the boards, whereupon the Picts fell into the hollows below their benches.
While caught in some strange contraption up to their knees, they were all killed.
It sounds like something out of Games of Thrones: the original Red Wedding perhaps.

Scone Palace, Scotland

Scone Palace, Scotland

Scone Palace, Scotland

Later, many of the Earls of Scone were imprisoned for their support of the Jacobite rising, and of Bonnie Prince Charlie.
A more peaceful, but no less influential, figure was William Murray, the 5th Viscount Stormont, who was an eminent lawyer.
Born in 1705 at Scone, he rose from the English Bar to become  Lord Chief Justice and one of the greatest 18th century British judges.
Chief among his achievements was the development of commercial law to keep pace with the British empire, and his declaration that slavers had no rights over their slaves on English soil.
No trip to Scone is complete without visiting Moot Hill, for so long the home of the Stone of Scone.

Scone Palace, Scotland

Known as the Stone of Destiny and The Coronation Scone, the original stone now sits in Edinburgh Castle after spending many years in England.
A replica holds its place on Moot Hill.
Tradition says Kenneth MacAlpin was the first to use the stone for his coronation, but it is more likely Fergus, son of Erc brought it from Ireland to Argyll, and was crowned on it.
It remained the crowning place of Scottish kings until 1296, when Edward I of England captured it and took it to Westminster Abbey.
There it was fitted into a wooden chair – known as King Edward’s Chair – on which most subsequent English sovereigns have been crowned.
Coronations continued on Moot Hill until the time of King Charles II in January 1651. Shortly after that he took up the throne of England as well, and coronations took place in Westminster Abbey.

Scone Palace, Scotland

Scone Palace, Scotland

Scone Palace, Scotland

Scone Palace, Scotland


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