“..whom we invite to see us crowned at Scone“…. Macbeth
For Leanne Cole’s theme of travel this week, I chose the Maze at Scone, Perth and Kinross, Scotland. To me a maze is symbolic of traveling through life with it’s turns and sometimes dead ends, searching for the heart’s meaning, and as the maze is also a walking meditation; the center signifies peace. So here is..
A Brief History of Scone
A hauntingly beautiful piece called The Gael ( by Dougie MacLean)
Scone (pronounced like Skune) has been inhabited since Pictish times and was the site of an early Christian church. It achieved abbey status in the 12th century. It was also famous for the Gaelic “Lia Fail” or Stone of Destiny. Scottish kings were crowned on this stone beginning with the chieftain Kenneth MacAlpin, a Pictish king who chose Scone as his capital in the 9th century. Robert the Bruce was crowned on Moot Hill in 1306.
The palace that stands today was built in the Gothic style of architecture and finished in 1808. A broad tree lined avenue leads up to the gates.
Through the centuries, the honours of Scotland (scepter and crown jewels) were moved frequently to protect them from enemies. The Stone of Destiny (or Stone of Scone), however, had been taken to England in 1296 by Edward I (Longshanks) in his attempt to subdue Scotland. In recent times Elizabeth II sat on the Stone of Scone for her coronation as monarch of both kingdoms.
The stone remained in England until 1950 when four Scottish student nationalists managed to steal it from Westminster Abbey and take it back to Scotland. It was later discovered in Glasgow where it had been broken and mended in the venture. “A stonemason, Baillie Robert Gray, had been hired to mend the stone. Gray placed a brass rod inside the Stone containing a piece of paper. To this day, nobody knows what was written on it.
In April 1951 the police received a tip-off and the Stone was found on the site of the High Altar at Arbroath Abbey where in 1320 the assertion of Scottish nationhood was made in the Declaration of Arbroath. The Stone was returned to Westminster Abbey in February 1952.” (wikipedia) England decided to give it back in 1996 and it now resides in Edinburgh Castle. Scotland remains deeply divided on the issue of Independence.
The grounds of the Palace are very beautiful and interesting to me. Many don’t know that the mighty and majestic Douglas Fir trees that are native to North America from British Columbia down to central California, were named after Scottish Botanist David Douglas. They were imported by him from the Pacific Northwest to the Scone palace grounds where they have thrived.
(click to “embiggen” images)