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.

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Founded: c. 1120
Category: Religious sites in United Kingdom

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en.wikipedia.org

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User Reviews

Zoe Harris (2 years ago)
The tree collection is fabulous and there's some information boards that explain how the giant firs found their way to Scotland. The palace was really brought to life by the excellent guide who shared all the history about the heritage and stories behind the contents.
Holly Musgrove (2 years ago)
The house tour was good and the guide was excellent. We enjoyed lunch in the old kitchen (the soup of the day was vegan). The grounds were a bit sparse and poorly signed and the kitchen garden was closed. There were peacocks and Highland cows though.
martin fantozzi (2 years ago)
The palace guide was very informative, the grounds were open and a pleasant walk, and the catering, despite covid restrictions, was good. I would have liked to know a lot more about earlier history of the site before the current mansion was built. This is after all one of the most iconic sites in Scotland and nothing much was really mentioned about the medieval history of the place.
Robert Martin (2 years ago)
Wow, what a place Definitely do the tour if your visiting anywhere near Scone. The rooms and the furniture is totally amazing, the tour guides are very friendly and informative. There is also plenty to see in and around the gardens. From the maze to the old city boundary walls and gateway. The trees and flowers will truly keep you looking and smelling for ages. The history behind the Palace is also worth making sure you visit this little beauty.
Lorraine Luckhurst (2 years ago)
Fabulous Scone Palace and grounds. Take the tour Jenny(I think) was a fabulous guide creating a lovely atmosphere as she educated us and guided us effortlessly through the palace. Very interesting.
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