Reclaiming the Stone of Scone.
The Stone of Scone is the pulsing heart of Scottish national identity. This 336 pounds (152 kg) oblong block of red sandstone has gone by many names: Stane o Scuin, Lia Fàil, the Stone of Destiny, Jacob's Pillow Stone, the Tanist Ston, clach-na-cinneamhain. In England, it is often referred to England as The Coronation Stone. It served a central role in the coronation rituals of hundreds of monarchs in Ireland and Scotland, and later the monarchs of England and the Kingdom of Great Britain. The artefact was once safeguarded by the monks of the now-ruined Scone Abbey in Scone, near Perth, Scotland.
In 1296 it was stolen from Scone Abbey by the forces of the English King Edward I, ‘Hammer of the Scots’, who fitted it into the seat of a wooden seat called St. Edward’s Chair, and placed in Westminster Abbey, London. It is unclear if Edward was given the genuine Stone of Destiny and many historians agree that the monks, having several days notice of Edwards invasion, switched the stone and handed over a replica. Legends tell that the Scots gave Edward a toilet blocking stone.
The Stone was last used in 1953 at the coronation of Elizabeth II and it was returned to Edinburgh, Scotland by Michael Forsyth, the then Tory Scottish Secretary, in 1996. It has since been on display in the treasury room of Edinburgh Castle. Today, people in Scotland are celebrating that the stone is going to be transplanted from Edinburgh to Perth, in an attempt to rejuvenate Perthshire's tourism.
The artefact was never called the Stone of Perth, it was known as the Stone of Scone, and to there it should be returned. Rehousing the stone in Scone will draw tourists into rural Perthshire and its presence will benefit the entire region, not just the capital town.
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