Why Should You Care?
There are so many castles, halls, manors, and palaces in Britain, why should we be interested in Scone Palace? Well I'll tell you--it's a place where men once carried dirt in their boots and today you can have a great corporate event or wedding here. Oh yes, and this is where Scottish kings were once crowned. No, it has absolutely nothing to do with the fluffy British quick-bread.
What is the History?
This is Scotland--it's got to have a history. This place breathes history out of every stone. There is a religious history ('twas an ancient gathering place of the pagan Picts and probably the site of a very early Christian church), as well as a political one (kings of Scotland--including Robert the Bruce--were once crowned here).
|MOOT HILL SCONE PALACE, a photo by blawjaws on Flickr|
The hill where kings were invested with power was once called Caislean Credi or "The Hill of Credulity" (What did this say about the king or the subjects who were crowning him?), and is now known as "Moot Hill". Those who attended the coronation brought the earth of their own lands in their footwear, then dumped it out to pledge fealty. Eventually the mound grew large enough to be called a "hill" and might have been the site of a since-destroyed abbey.
|The Stone of Scone in King Edward's Chair|
There was a very special stone here once, the Stone of Scone or the Stone of Destiny. It is a block of red sandstone wreathed in legend (perhaps it's the stone Jacob used as a pillow, perhaps an ancient artifact from Ireland) and was kept at Scone Abbey until Edward I captured it in 1296 and brought it to England. In an act of contemptuous sovereignty he made the relic part of a chair, and upon this chair English sovereigns were crowned for many centuries (up to Elizabeth II!). Only in 1996 was the stone returned to its rightful land, and it is now ensconced in Edinburgh Castle.
What Can We Do Here?
|White Peacock, a photo by Flickr JRT on vacation :) on Flickr.|
Well,besides the corporate events there's plenty to do around Scone. As far as special events they have the Central Scotland International Horse Trials and Championships and an orchid festival coming this month. You can tour the palace, bask in the botanical glory of the gardens and grounds, for kids there's an adventure playground, a maze, one of the greatest "I Spy" opportunities ever, and don't forget the peacocks!
Before you leave don't forget the visit the lovely Gothic-style Presbyterian chapel on the grounds, standing on Moot Hill.