Old Scone

Perth and Kinross

Old Castle Entrance and Old Scone Mercat Cross
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Old Castle Entrance and Old Scone Mercat Cross

Located a mile (1.5 km) north of Perth and arguably at the geographical and historical heart of Scotland, little of the old village of Scone remains today. In the past, it was the capital of Pictavia, the ancient kingdom of Kenneth I (d.858) and the site of a 12th Century abbey founded by Alexander I (c.1077 - 1124). The abbey, together with the associated Bishop's Palace, were ransacked by a mob in 1559, following a rousing sermon given by Protestant leader John Knox (c.1513 - 72) at Perth. Although a few remnants of the village can be seen, including the Mercat Cross and a section of the church, most of it was removed in 1805 to make way for an appropriately fine estate for Scone Palace, which was rebuilt just a few years earlier. The population was relocated to a new planned village, imaginatively titled 'New Scone', which lies 2 miles (3 km) to the east.

Close to the old village is the Moot (or Mote) Hill, where Scottish Kings have been crowned since Kenneth I in 838, including Robert the Bruce (1274 - 1329). The hill is said to have been created from soil brought by clan chiefs from around the country to pay homage to their new King who would have been crowned while sitting on the on the 'Stone of Destiny' (or Stone of Scone). In 1296, the stone was removed to become part of the Coronation Chair in Westminster Abbey by King Edward I (1239 - 1307), but returned to Edinburgh Castle in 1996. Today a replica can been seen in the chapel on Moot Hill. The last King to be crowned here (and indeed in Scotland) was Charles II in 1651.

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