Scone Palace is one of Scotland’s most important stately homes, the place where Kings were crowned and it was home to the Stone of Destiny. Some of the best known Scottish kings that were crowned here were Macbeth and Robert The Bruce.
Unfortunately pictures aren’t allowed inside the palace, so I can share only pictures with the grounds and the Palace from outside. The ticket for Palace and grounds is £12.50 per person, for adults.
It is a free flow in the Palace and you can ask the room guides for more details. Amazingly, here we had one of the best room guides, a lovely lady that made us laugh and answered our questions with grace and lots of details. On the following room though, the guide was very unpleasant, made a silly joke (when I said I have a question, he replied: “no”), and asked some rather personal questions.
Regardless of the rudeness of that staff or volunteer, the visit was interesting.
The palace is home to a well known painting of Dido Belle, the black woman raised at the Palace. Dido Elizabeth Belle was born to a black mother, an African woman called Maria Belle, and to a white father, Sir John Lindsay, nephew of the 1st Earl of Mansfield. When she was six, her mother died and her father asked his uncle to raise her alongside her cousin, Elizabeth, as an aristocrat.
Mansfield, in his role as Lord Chief Justice, took significant steps to abolishing slavery. In 1772 he found that slavery had no precedent in common law within Britain and this was the beginning of the end of official slavery. It is probable that Belle influenced his views on the matter.
We couldn’t visit Scone Palace and not have scones, could we? The scones were good, but I was disappointed to be served whipped cream instead of clotted cream. Is true that clotted cream originates in England, but, for me, scones are much better with clotted cream instead of whipped cream.
This is Moot Hill with a replica of the stone. Its history is not known. It might have been brought from Ireland, when the Scots got here. In the back is a Presbyterian chapel.
The Stone of Destiny was placed on this hill and it was used in the coronations of the Kings of Scots until the end of the 13th century, when Edward I took it in 1296 and placed it under the crowning chair at Westminster Abbey. After that, the coronations took place on the hill, just without the stone. The last king to be crowned there was Charles II in 1651.
The stone was stolen by a few students and brought to Scotland, managing to break it in two, but it was returned to London. During John Major’s mandate the stone was, as the high-lines in the newspapers said: “Stone of Scone going home after 700 years. John Major’s announcement that the Stone of Destiny plundered by the English will return to Scotland took Westminster by surprise.” You might think that the stone was returned to Scone, where it was before it was taken, but no, it was returned to Edinburgh, where I don’t think it ever stood. The stone is the property of the Queen, so it had to be placed in a Royal castle. Scone is owned by the 9th Earl of Mansfield, thus it couldn’t have been returned to Scone.
The white peacock was stunning and it seemed that all the visitors were trying to have a better look at him. He, on the other hand, was not impressed at all, and his main focus was on the other peacocks, to chase them around.
There are walks on the grounds and it must be lovely on a sunny day.
Scone Palace is in Perth, PH2 6BD, if you fancy a visit.