|Town and former national capital|
|Population||5,050 (mid-2016 est.)|
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
Scone ( // ( listen ); Scottish Gaelic : Sgàin; Scots : Scuin) is a town in Perth and Kinross, Scotland. The medieval town of Scone, which grew up around the monastery and royal residence, was abandoned in the early 19th century when the residents were removed and a new palace was built on the site by the Earl of Mansfield. Hence the modern village of Scone, and the medieval village of Old Scone, can often be distinguished.
Both sites lie in the historical province of Gowrie, as well as the old county of Perthshire. Old Scone was the historic capital of the Kingdom of Scotland. In the Middle Ages it was an important royal centre, used as a royal residence and as the coronation site of the kingdom's monarchs. Around the royal site grew the town of Perth and the Abbey of Scone.
Scone's association with kings and king-making gave it various epithets in Gaelic poetry; for instance, Scoine sciath-airde, "Scone of the High Shields", and Scoine sciath-bhinne, "Scone of the Noisy Shields".Scotland itself was often called or shown on maps as the "Kingdom of Scone" (or "Sconiana"), Righe Sgoinde. Similarly, Ireland was often called the "Kingdom of Tara"; Tara, like Scone, was a ceremonial inauguration site. Scone was therefore the closest thing the early Kingdom of Scotland had to a capital city. In either 1163 or 1164 King Malcolm IV described Scone Abbey as in principali sede regni nostri, "in the principal seat of our kingdom". By this point, however, the rule of the King of the Scots was not confined to the Kingdom of Scotland, which then only referred to Scotland north of the river Forth. The king also ruled in Lothian, Strathclyde and the Honour of Huntingdon, and spent much of his time in these localities too. Moreover, the king was itinerant and had little permanent bureaucracy, so Scone's role was totally unlike that of a modern capital city. But in the medieval sense Scone can in many ways be called the "capital of Scotland", and was often referred to as "the Royal City of Scone". Many comparisons can be drawn between the City of Westminster and the "City" of Scone. Both were medieval centres of royal power. Both were located beside crossing points of major rivers – the highways of the medieval period – and in geographic locations central to their respective kingdoms.
The origins of a settlement of any kind at Scone are unknown, although thought to be early medieval. The origins could be pre-Roman, as there is much evidence of a well-established and sophisticated Iron Age people flourishing in this part of Scotland. Direct evidence however is lacking and so Scone's story is thought to begin in the wake of the Roman exit from Scottish history. Thus there may have been a village, a religious centre, or even a seat of power based at Scone from as early as the 5th century AD, with Scone coming into real and recorded prominence in the 9th century during the amalgamation of the Pictish and Gaelic peoples and kingdoms. Scone at this point played a crucial role in the formation and governance of the ancient Kingdom of Scotland. In the 9th century Kenneth MacAlpin came east to Scone, bringing with him a holy relic and coronation stone. As the stone was kept at Scone, it acquired the name, the Stone of Scone. In the 12th century, various foreign influences prompted the Scottish kings to transform Scone into a more convincing royal centre. Many historians have argued that the monastery or priory was founded specifically in 1114 by Alexander I of Scotland. This is strictly speaking correct, but it seems clear that this charter was simply a reaffirmation of Scone's status, and of the religious institutions there, rather than a sudden founding or establishment. There is growing evidence that there had been an early Christian cult called the Culdees based at Scone dating from at least the 9th century and possibly earlier. The Culdees were eventually merged with the Augustinian canons who arrived from Nostell Priory in Yorkshire as part of the 1114 "re-establishment". This "re-establishment" and drive to confirm Scone's status at the heart of the emerging Scottish kingdom and nation continued in 1124 when Alexander I of Scotland wrote to "all merchants of England" (omnibus mercatoribus Angliae) promising them safe passage and protection if they bring goods to Scone by sea to trade. 1 mile (2 kilometres) from the site of medieval Scone, which is similar to the distance of Westminster Abbey from the City of London: 1.4 miles (2.3 km).Scone at this time lay on a navigable part of the river Tay. This was at times a major disadvantage, as the Vikings came across the North Sea to launch their lightning raids. Using the River Tay as a water route into the heart of Scottish held territory throughout the 9th and 10th centuries, these raiders pillaged towns and villages as well as religious houses such as the abbey at Dunkeld. In 904 a battle was fought in the vicinity of Scone, often referred to as the Battle of Scone, between the Scots led by King Constantine II of Scotland and the Vikings. As time went on, for various reasons the river by Scone became less navigable. At the same time ships were developing deeper hulls. It was this combination of factors that encouraged David I of Scotland to establish a new burgh at the nearest suitable location downstream of Scone, namely Perth. Perth lies
King Alexander I, thus "re-established" an Augustinian priory at Scone sometime between 1114 and 1122. In either 1163 or 1164, in the reign of King Máel Coluim IV, Scone Priory's status was enhanced and it became an abbey.The abbey had important royal functions, being next to the coronation site of Scottish kings and housing the coronation stone, the Stone of Scone, until King Edward I of England) stole it during the Wars of Scottish Independence in 1295. Like other Scottish abbeys, Scone probably doubled up as a royal residence or palace as well as a hunting ground. Scone Abbey's obvious role was like that of Westminster Abbey for the Kings of England, although it appears that Scottish coronations were a more pagan ceremony, including the use of the Moot Hill (the coronation mound). It is likely that Scottish inaugurations and coronations were completed in two parts: a Christian ceremony conducted within the Abbey church and the perceivably pagan (Gaelic) ceremony upon the Moot Hill. This can be attributed, as Thomas Owen Clancy points out, to the importance in Gaelic tradition of swearing the inauguration oath in colle, on the traditional mound; the importance of which continental Christian fashions were apparently unable to overcome. But the parallel with Westminster certainly existed in the mind of Edward I, who in 1297 transferred the Abbey's coronation relics, the crown, sceptre and the stone, to Westminster in an overt act of stripping Scotland of her nationhood. Scotland's national relics and regalia were gifted to Westminster Abbey in honour of the English royal saint, Edward the Confessor.
Like Tara, Scone would have been associated with some of the traditions and rituals of native kingship, what D. A. Binchy describes as "an archaic fertility rite of a type associated with primitive kingship the world over".Certainly, if Scone was not associated with this kind of thing in Pictish times, the Scottish kings of later years made an effort do so. By the thirteenth century at the latest there was a tradition that Scone's famous inauguration stone, the Stone of Scone, had originally been placed at Tara by Simón Brecc, and only taken to Scone later by his descendant Fergus mac Ferchair when the latter conquered Scotland. Indeed, the prominence of such a coronation stone associated with an archaic inauguration site was something Scone shared with many like sites in medieval Ireland, not just Tara. Such "unChristian" rites would become infamous in the emerging world of Scotland's Anglo-French neighbours in the twelfth century.
Scone's role therefore came under threat as Scotland's twelfth century kings gradually became more French and less Gaelic. Walter of Coventry reported in the reign of William I of Scotland that "The modern kings of Scotland count themselves as Frenchmen, in race, manners, language and culture; they keep only Frenchmen in their household and following, and have reduced the Scots to utter servitude."Though exaggerated, there was truth in this. Apparently for this reason, when the Normanized David I of Scotland (Dabíd mac Maíl Choluim) went to Scone to be crowned there in the summer of 1124, he initially refused to take part in the ceremonies. According to Ailred of Rievaulx, friend and one time member of David's court, David "so abhorred those acts of homage which are offered by the Scottish nation in the manner of their fathers upon the recent promotion of their kings, that he was with difficulty compelled by the bishops to receive them." Inevitably then this was bound to affect the significance of Scone as a ritual and cult centre, yet the inauguration ceremony was preserved with only some innovation through the thirteenth century and Scottish kings continued to be crowned there until 1651, when Charles II became the last King of Scotland to have a coronation there (see List of Scottish monarchs). Moreover, until the later Middle Ages kings continued to reside there, and parliaments, often some of the most important parliaments in Scottish history, frequently met there too.
In 2007, archaeologists discovered the footprint of the medieval abbey allowing us to envisage where the high altar was and thus where relics such as the Stone of Scone or Stone of Destiny were housed, and where Kings of Scots such as Macbeth and Robert the Bruce were crowned before heading up to the Moot Hill for the more pagan elements of their inaugurations.
Although Scone retained its role in royal inaugurations, Scone's role as effective "capital" declined in the later Middle Ages. The abbey itself though enjoyed mixed fortunes. It suffered a fire in the twelfth century and was subject to extensive attacks during the First War of Scottish Independence including the theft of Scotland's most revered relic, the Stone of Scone. It also suffered, as most Scottish abbeys in the period did, from a decline in patronage. The abbey became a popular place of pilgrimage for St Fergus, whose skull the Abbots kept as a relic in a silver casket by the altar. The Abbey and village also retained older festivals such as the famous Ba' of Scone, a medieval game similar to football; Ba' being short for "ball". Despite Scone's decline throughout the late medieval period, it gained some considerable fame for musical excellence through the composer Robert Carver.In the sixteenth century the Scottish Reformation ended the importance of all monasteries and abbeys in Scotland. In June 1559 the abbey was attacked by a reformist mob from Dundee having been whipped up into a frenzy by the great reformer John Knox. The abbey was severely damaged during this attack despite Knox's apparent efforts to calm the mob. Some of the canons continued on at the abbey and there is evidence suggesting that the spire of the abbey church was repaired in the aftermath of the reformation. Monastic life at Scone persisted until about 1640 at which point the Monks of Scone finally dispersed, religious life continuing to function only as part of the parish church in Scone. In 1581 Scone was placed in the new Earldom of Gowrie, created for William Ruthven. The latter was forfeited after the Gowrie Conspiracy of 1600 in which the Ruthvens made an attempt against King James VI's life. As a consequence of the Ruthven's failure and demise, Scone, in 1606 was given to David Murray of Gospertie, newly created Lord Scone, who in 1621 was promoted to Viscount Stormont. Within the parish Bessie Wright was a healer and an accused witch. The abbey/palace evidently remained in a decent state, as the Viscounts apparently did some rebuilding and continued to reside there, and it continued to play host to important guests, such as King Charles II, when he was crowned there in 1651.
It is said that there is over 1000 years of significant Scottish history at Scone. The Murrays of Scone were Jacobite, and along with their Atholl cousins were strong supporters of the exiled Stuart Monarchs of Great Britain and Ireland. This support for the Jacobites, plus Scone's status in Scottish history no doubt encouraged the Old Pretender, James III of Great Britain and Ireland, to use the Palace of Scone as his base in Scotland during the 1715 rebellion. James III having landed in Scotland on 22 December 1715, he proceeded to Perth and onto Scone which had been garrisoned by the Jacobites. James attempted to rally his supporters by releasing from Scone six Royal Proclamations. Having spent six weeks in residence at Scone, James and the Jacobite army marched (retreated) north on 30 January to Montrose. The rebellion having failed really before James had even arrived, he boarded a ship on 31 January leaving Scotland never to return. the Old Pretender was not the last Jacobite to visit Scone, his son the famed Bonnie Prince Charlie stayed the night at Palace of Scone during the 1745 rebellion.
It was not until 1803 that the family, the Murrays of Scone (by then the Earls of Mansfield), began constructing another palace at the cost of £70,000, commissioning the renowned English architect William Atkinson.The new Neo-Gothic palace was completed in 1812 and had 120 rooms in total. Queen Victoria, during her 1842 jubilee tour, visited Scone staying in the Palace for just one night.
At the Disruption of 1843 the Free Church of Scotland worshipped at Pictstonshill barn. A church and school were built in 1844 despite being refused local building materials. Notable ministers included the Rev Charles Calder Stewart (1804-1876) who served from 1847 to 1873 and was succeeded by the Rev A. K. Macmurchy. A new Free Church was built in 1887.
Constructing the new palace meant destroying the old town and moving its inhabitants to a new settlement. The new village was built in 1805 as a planned village (compare Evanton, built in 1807 by its landowner for similar motives), and originally called New Scone.
It is 1+1⁄4 miles (2 kilometres) east of the old location and 1 mi (1.5 km) further from Perth. Until 1997 the village was called "New Scone", but is now officially called Scone (see signposts on all approaches to the village). The village had 4,430 inhabitants according to the 2001 Census for Scotland, 84.33% of whom are Scottish; it is demographically old even compared with the rest of Scotland.
Kenneth MacAlpin or Kenneth I was King of Dál Riada (841–850), King of the Picts (843–858), and the King of Alba (843–858). He inherited the throne of Dál Riada from his father Alpín mac Echdach, founder of the Alpínid dynasty. Kenneth I conquered the kingdom of the Picts in 843–850 and began a campaign to seize all of Scotland and assimilate the Picts, for which he was posthumously nicknamed An Ferbasach. Forteviot became the capital of his kingdom, and he also fought the Britons of the Kingdom of Strathclyde and the invading Vikings from Scandinavia. Kenneth also relocated relics including the Stone of Scone from an abandoned abbey on Iona to his new domain.
The Picts were a group of Celtic-speaking peoples who lived in what is now northern and eastern Scotland during Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages. Where they lived and what their culture was like can be inferred from early medieval texts and Pictish stones. Their Latin name, Picti, appears in written records from the 3rd to the 10th century. Early medieval sources report the existence of a distinct Pictish language, which today is believed to have been an Insular Celtic language, closely related to the Brittonic spoken by the Britons who lived to the south.
The Stone of Scone —also known as the Stone of Destiny, and often referred to in England as The Coronation Stone—is an oblong block of red sandstone that has been used for centuries in the coronation of the monarchs of Scotland. It is also known as Jacob's Pillow Stone and the Tanist Stone, and as clach-na-cinneamhain in Scottish Gaelic.
David I or Dauíd mac Maíl Choluim was a 12th-century ruler who was Prince of the Cumbrians from 1113 to 1124 and later King of Scotland from 1124 to 1153. The youngest son of Malcolm III and Margaret of Wessex, David spent most of his childhood in Scotland, but was exiled to England temporarily in 1093. Perhaps after 1100, he became a dependent at the court of King Henry I. There he was influenced by the Anglo-French culture of the court.
Constantine, son of Cuilén, known in most modern regnal lists as Constantine III, was king of Scots from 995 to 997. He was the son of King Cuilén. John of Fordun calls him, in Latin, Constantinus Calvus, which translates to Constantine the Bald. Benjamin Hudson notes that insular authors from Ireland and Scotland typically identified rulers by sobriquets, noting for example the similarly named Eugenius Calvus, an 11th-century King of Strathclyde.
William Forbes Skene WS FRSE FSA(Scot) DCL LLD, was a Scottish lawyer, historian and antiquary.
The Lia Fáil (Irish: [ˌl̠ʲiə ˈfˠaːlʲ], meaning Stone of Destiny is a stone at the Inauguration Mound on the Hill of Tara in County Meath, Ireland, which served as the coronation stone for the High Kings of Ireland. It is also known as the Coronation Stone of Tara. According to legend, all of the kings of Ireland were crowned on the stone up to Muirchertach mac Ercae, c. AD 500.
The Coronation Chair, known historically as St Edward's Chair or King Edward's Chair, is an ancient wooden chair on which British monarchs sit when they are invested with regalia and crowned at their coronations. It was commissioned in 1296 by King Edward I to contain the coronation stone of Scotland—known as the Stone of Destiny—which had been captured from the Scots who kept it at Scone Abbey. The chair was named after Edward the Confessor, and was previously kept in his shrine at Westminster Abbey.
Scone Palace is a Category A-listed historic house near the village of Scone and the city of Perth, Scotland. Built in red sandstone with a castellated roof, it is an example of the Gothic Revival style in Scotland.
The origins of the Kingdom of Alba pertain to the origins of the Kingdom of Alba, or the Gaelic Kingdom of Scotland, either as a mythological event or a historical process, during the Early Middle Ages.
Culture of Scotland in the High Middle Ages refers to the forms of cultural expression that come from Scotland in the High Medieval period which, for the purposes of this article, refers to the period between the death of Domnall II in 900, and the death of Alexander III in 1286. The unity of the period is suggested by the immense breaks which occur in Scottish history because of the Wars of Scottish Independence, the Stewart accession and transformations which occur in Scottish society in the fourteenth century and afterwards. The period differentiates itself because of the predominance of Gaelic culture, and, later in the medieval, Scoto-Norman French culture.
Scone Abbey was a house of Augustinian canons located in Scone, Perthshire (Gowrie), Scotland. Dates given for the establishment of Scone Priory have ranged from 1114 A.D. to 1122 A.D. However, historians have long believed that Scone was before that 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 A.D. Archaeological surveys taken in 2007 suggest that Scone was a site of real significance even prior to 841 A.D., when Kenneth MacAlpin brought the Stone of Destiny, Scotland's most prized relic and coronation stone, to Scone.
The High Middle Ages of Scotland encompass Scotland in the era between the death of Domnall II in 900 AD and the death of King Alexander III in 1286, which was an indirect cause of the Wars of Scottish Independence.
The Davidian Revolution is a name given by many scholars to the changes which took place in the Kingdom of Scotland during the reign of David I (1124–1153). These included his foundation of burghs, implementation of the ideals of Gregorian Reform, foundation of monasteries, Normanization of the Scottish government, and the introduction of feudalism through immigrant Norman and Anglo-Norman knights.
The Westminster Stone theory is the belief held by some historians and scholars that the stone which traditionally rests under the Coronation Chair is not the true Stone of Destiny but a 13th-century substitute. Since the chair has been located in Westminster Abbey since that time, adherents to this theory have created the title 'Westminster Stone' to avoid confusion with the 'real' stone.
Gowrie is a region and ancient province of Scotland, covering the eastern sliver of what became Perthshire. It was located to the immediate east of Atholl, and originally included the area around Perth, though that was later detached as Perthia.
Perth is a city and former royal burgh in central Scotland. There has been a settlement at Perth since prehistoric times. Finds in and around Perth show that it was occupied by the Mesolithic hunter-gatherers who arrived in the area more than 8,000 years ago. Nearby Neolithic standing stones and circles followed the introduction of farming from about 4000 BC, and a remarkably well preserved Bronze Age log boat dated to around 1000 BC was found in the mudflats of the River Tay at Carpow to the east of Perth. Carpow was also the site of a Roman legionary fortress.
The Chronica Gentis Scotorum or Chronicles of the Scottish People was the first substantial work of Scottish history. It was written by John of Fordun, a priest of the diocese of St. Andrews and chaplain of the church of Aberdeen. Before his death, he had finished the first five books down to the reign of David I (1124-53) and had arranged his remaining materials, the last of which was dated 1385.
Government in medieval Scotland, includes all forms of politics and administration of the minor kingdoms that emerged after the departure of the Romans from central and southern Britain in the fifth century, through the development and growth of the combined Scottish and Pictish kingdom of Alba into the kingdom of Scotland, until the adoption of the reforms of the Renaissance in the fifteenth century.