Scone Abbey was a house of Augustinian canons. Historians have long believed that Scone was before hat time the center of the early medieval Christian cult of the Culdees. Very little is known about the Culdees but it is thought that a cult may have been worshiping at Scone from as early as 700 AD. Archaeological surveys taken in 2007 suggest that Scone was a site of real significance even prior to 841 AD, when Kenneth MacAlpin brought the Stone of Destiny, Scotland's most prized relic and coronation stone, to Scone.
The priory was established by six canons from Nostell Priory in West Yorkshire under the leadership of Prior Robert, who was the first prior of Scone. The foundation charter, dated 1120, was once thought to be a fake version of the original, but it is now regarded as a copy made in the late 12th century. Perhaps the copy was needed after a fire which occurred there sometime before 1163 and presumably damaged or destroyed the original. Scone Priory suffered a similar destruction of records during the Wars of Scottish Independence.
After the reformation in 1559, Scottish abbeys disappeared as institutions, although not overnight, as some suggest. The abbey at Scone continued to function well into the 17th century. There are existing documents describing repairs made to the spire of the abbey church dating from 1620. Scone Abbey and its attendant parish ceased to function in 1640 and was reformed in the late 16th century as a secular lordship first for the Earl of Gowrie, and then for Sir David Murray of Gospertie. The property and lordship have been in the possession of the Murrays of Scone ever since. Later, this branch of the Murray clan became the Earls of Mansfield.
The precise location of Scone Abbey had long remained a mystery, but in 2007 archaeologists pinpointed the location using magnetic resonance imaging technology. The find revealed the structure to have been somewhat larger than had been imagined and revealed that the Moot Hill had at some point been surrounded by a ditch and palisade; marking it out not as a defensive position but as a hugely significant sanctum within which kings professed their vows to the people of Scotland. A stylised illustration of the abbey on one of its seals suggests that it was a major Romanesque building, with a central tower crowned with a spire.
Today there is a replica of the Stone of Destiny in front of a 19th-century Presbyterian mortuary chapel on Moot Hill.References:
The Beckov castle stands on a steep 50 m tall rock in the village Beckov. The dominance of the rock and impression of invincibility it gaves, challenged our ancestors to make use of these assets. The result is a remarkable harmony between the natural setting and architecture.
The castle first mentioned in 1200 was originally owned by the King and later, at the end of the 13th century it fell in hands of Matúš Èák. Its owners alternated - at the end of the 14th century the family of Stibor of Stiborice bought it.
The next owners, the Bánffys who adapted the Gothic castle to the Renaissance residence, improved its fortifications preventing the Turks from conquering it at the end of the 16th century. When Bánffys died out, the castle was owned by several noble families. It fell in decay after fire in 1729.
The history of the castle is the subject of different legends. One of them narrates the origin of the name of castle derived from that of jester Becko for whom the Duke Stibor had the castle built.
Another legend has it that the lord of the castle had his servant thrown down from the rock because he protected his child from the lords favourite dog. Before his death, the servant pronounced a curse saying that they would meet in a year and days time, and indeed precisely after that time the lord was bitten by a snake and fell down to the same abyss.
The well-conserved ruins of the castle, now the National Cultural Monument, are frequently visited by tourists, above all in July when the castle festival takes place. The former Ambro curia situated below the castle now shelters the exhibition of the local history.