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 Castle of Gruyères is one of the most famous in Switzerland. It was built between 1270 and 1282, following the typical square plan of the fortifications in Savoy. It was the property of the Counts of Gruyères until the bankruptcy of the Count Michel in 1554. His creditors the cantons of Fribourg and Bern shared his earldom. From 1555 to 1798 the castle became residence to the bailiffs and then to the prefects sent by Fribourg.
In 1849 the castle was sold to the Bovy and Balland families, who used the castle as their summer residency and restored it. The castle was then bought back by the canton of Fribourg in 1938, made into a museum and opened to the public. Since 1993, a foundation ensures the conservation as well as the highlighting of the building and the art collection.
The castle is the home of three capes of the Order of the Golden Fleece. They were part of the war booty captured by the Swiss Confederates (which included troops from Gruyères) at the Battle of Morat against Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy in 1476. As Charles the Bold was celebrating the anniversary of his father's death, one of the capes is a black velvet sacerdotal vestment with Philip the Good's emblem sewn into it.
A collection of landscapes by 19th century artists Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Barthélemy Menn and others are on display in the castle.