Wednesday, 26 December 2007
Scone Perthshire Scotland
Scone Palace, Perthshire, Scotland, has been important in Scottish History for many years, having been the crowning place of Scottish Kings between the 9th and 16th centuries and the original home of the Stone of Destiny. Scone Palace on a December morning. Tour Scone Palace, Perthshire, Scotland, on an Ancestry Tour of Scotland. Best Scottish Tours, Best Scottish Food, Best Scottish Hotels, Small Group Tours of Scotland. Rent a Cottage in Scotland. Scone in 1846. Scone, a parish, in the county of Perth, 2 miles (N.) from Perth; containing 2422 inhabitants, of whom 1364 are in the village of New Scone, and 56 in that of Old Scone. This place is supposed to have derived its name, signifying in the British language "an ascent," from the situation of its ancient castle on an acclivity rising gradually from the shore of the river Tay to a considerable height. It appears to have been at a very early period the residence of the kings of Scotland, and the place of their coronation, for which occasions the celebrated stone, from an inscription of prophetic import called the Stone of Destiny, is said to have been placed here by Kenneth Mc Alpine, King of the Scots, who finally subdued the Picts, and united both nations into one kingdom. A very ancient establishment of the Culdees flourished at this place, which attained the appellation of the royal city, till the time of Alexander I., when it was superseded by a priory of canons regular of the order of St. Augustine, to whom, according to the chronicles of Melrose, the Culdees resigned their church in 1115. Alexander had begun to erect a castle and a palace at this place, but was obstructed in his prosecution of that purpose by a rebellion of his subjects of the counties of Mearns and Moray, over whom, however, after much peril, he obtained a complete victory, and in gratitude for his success founded the Abbey of Scone, in which the inaugural stone was preserved, and many of his successors were crowned. After the death of Alexander III., Edward I. of England, availing himself of an assumed superiority over the kingdom of Scotland, put an end to the contest of the different aspirants to the throne by nominating John Baliol, who took the oath of fealty, and was crowned in the abbey in 1292. A parliament was held here in 1294, in which some measures were resolved on that excited the jealousy of Edward, who, entering Scotland with a powerful army, demanded the surrender of the principal fortresses, and, on his return into England in 1296, took away with him the coronation stone from the abbey of Scone, and placed it in Westminster Abbey, where it forms the seat of the chair of Edward the Confessor, used at the coronation of the English sovereigns.
The abbey, which was dedicated to the Holy Trinity and St. Michael, continued to flourish till the Reformation, when, after all its ornaments had been destroyed, it was, together with the palace, burned by a furious mob from Dundee, in resentment for the loss of one of their party who had been killed by a shot discharged from the palace during their work of demolition. The revenues of the abbey at this time were estimated at £1140, exclusive of considerable payments in grain. The lands and other possessions belonged afterwards to the Earl of Gowrie, on whose attainder they reverted to the crown; and in 1604 they were erected into a temporal lordship, and granted by James VI. to Sir David Murray, Lord Scone and Viscount Stormont, and ancestor of the Stormont or Mansfield family, the present proprietors. The coronation of Charles II., on his visit to Scotland subsequently to his restoration, took place here in 1651, in the church built probably by the Gowrie family, and subsequently enlarged by the first lord Stormont: after the ceremony, His Majesty returned to the seat of (the third) lord Stormont, which formed his palace on the occasion. Of this palace the Pretender took possession during his visit in 1715, previously to his flight to Dundee on the approach of the royal army; as also did Prince Charles, on his visit in 1745.
After the destruction of the abbey the town fell rapidly into decay. Some of the conventual buildings, however, were occasionally occupied by the attendants of James VI., who resorted to it for the diversion of hunting; and a building for some time retained the appellation of the Earl of Errol's stables, from its being occupied on those occasions by the earl, who attended the king as hereditary grand constable. There are still remaining an ancient gateway, and part of the wall that surrounded the old palace; to the east of which is the Cross, almost the only memorial of the original town, a pillar thirteen feet high, slightly ornamented, and rising from an octagonal pedestal, to which is an ascent by a flight of steps. The only object of interest in the old town is the splendid mansion of the Earl of Mansfield, called indifferently the Abbey or Palace of Scone, erected in 1808, on the site of a former mansion built partly by the Earl of Gowrie after the destruction of the palace, and partly by the first lord Stormont, but never fully completed, and which was taken down in 1803. The present palace is a spacious and elegant structure in the later English style of architecture, erected by the late earl, and containing a superb suite of apartments fitted up in a style of sumptuous magnificence. The drawing-room is a splendid apartment, commanding one of the richest prospects to be found in the county; the dining-room, music-gallery, and library are also noble apartments, enriched with ornaments of every variety, and a valuable collection of paintings by the chief masters, with several family portraits. The windows of the grand hall are embellished with stained glass, in which are emblazoned the armorial bearings of the family; and in various parts are disposed marble busts, elegant and costly vases, cabinets of gems, and rare antiques.
The mansion is beautifully situated on a spacious lawn, sloping to the river Tay, and is surrounded with an extensive and richly-wooded park, with pleasure-grounds embellished with plantations, and gardens tastefully laid out. Among the most ancient of the trees are, an ash planted by James VI., and a sycamore by Mary, Queen of Scots. About fifty yards from the palace are the only remains of the church erected after the destruction of the abbey, consisting of an aisle built most probably by the first viscount Stormont, to whom there is an elegant marble monument, on which he is represented in armour, kneeling before an altar, with an armed figure on each side, one supposed to represent the Marquess of Tullibardine, and the other the Earl Marischal; all most beautifully sculptured in alabaster. The chief approach to the house is by a drive through the park, over a bridge recently built across a deep ravine at no great distance from the terrace-gate on the south; there is also an ancient gateway leading to it from the east. Among the remains of antiquity carefully preserved in the palace are, an elegant velvet bed embroidered by Mary, Queen of Scots, during her captivity at Lochleven, and the bed and furniture of the chamber in which King Charles slept at the time of his coronation. Her present Majesty, Queen Victoria, attended by Prince Albert, honoured the Earl of Mansfield with a visit in September, 1842, and, after passing the night of the 6th here, returned on the day following to Dunkeld. Previous to her departure, a deputation from the magistrates of Perth waited upon Her Majesty, requesting the royal signature in the guildry books of the city, in which Her Majesty and Prince Albert accordingly inscribed their names.
The parish, which is bounded on the west and south-west by the river Tay, comprises an area of nearly 6000 acres, whereof about 2500 are arable, and the remainder meadow and pasture, with some extensive plantations, and a moderate portion of waste land. The surface rises gradually from the banks of the river to a considerable elevation, commanding many richly-varied and extensive views; and the scenery, which is generally of a pleasing and interesting character, is in many places beautifully picturesque. The streams that flow through the parish are small. The Annaty, however, in its course has several falls for giving motion to machinery; and there is also a canal from the Tay, which turns several mills, and affords an abundant supply of water for some bleach-works. The soil is in parts light and gravelly, but near the banks of the river, a strong rich clay; the crops are, wheat, barley, oats, potatoes, and turnips. Considerable improvements have taken place in the system of agriculture; the lands have been drained, and in many places properly inclosed; the farm buildings and offices are substantial and well arranged, and every attention is paid to the management of the dairies. The plantations are chiefly oak, larch, and Scotch fir, intermixed with hard-woods, and are generally in a thriving condition. The substratum is mostly of the sandstone formation, intersected with dykes of trap, which afford excellent materials for the roads: nodules of compact limestone are occasionally found in the sandstone quarries, of which those at Lethendy are extensively wrought; and in the softer beds occur small pieces of jasper. The rateable annual value of the parish is £9600.
The village of New Scone, which has been almost entirely built within the present century, on lands belonging chiefly to the Earl of Mansfield and to Andrew Murray, Esq., is situated on the turnpike-road from Perth to Cupar-Angus, along which it extends for a considerable distance, consisting of houses neatly but irregularly built. It has a post-office subject to the office of Perth, and a small library is supported by subscription. About 300 of the inhabitants are occupied in hand-loom weaving. At Stormontfield, on the banks of the Tay, in the north-west of the parish, is an extensive bleachfield belonging to John Maxton, Esq., in which about thirty families are constantly employed, for whose residence comfortable cottages have been erected: there is also a school, built by the late Earl of Mansfield, for the instruction of their children. These works are abundantly supplied with water by the canal, and are conducted with every due regard to the comfort of the persons employed. The fisheries on the Tay have much diminished during the last twenty years, within which period the annual rent has fallen from £1100 to £100; the fish taken are, salmon, grilse, sea-trout, yellow-trout, pike, perch, and eels.
The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Perth and synod of Perth and Stirling. The minister's stipend is £267. 11. 2., with a manse, and a glebe valued at £55 per annum; patron, the Crown. The church, erected in 1784 in the village of Old Scone, was taken down, and rebuilt with the same materials in the present village in 1804: and an aisle was added to it in 1834; it is a neat structure, containing 638 sittings. There is a place of worship for members of the United Secession. The parochial school is attended by about 150 children, and is well conducted; the master has a salary of £34. 4. 4., with a house and garden, and the fees average £20 annually. The master of the school at Stormontfield receives an allowance of £4 from the Earl of Mansfield, and £2 from the proprietor of the works, in addition to the fees; and there are also some female schools in the village. In the immediate vicinity of the present palace have been found at various times some remnants of the ancient abbey, and numerous stone coffins. In 1841 some workmen discovered part of a cell, in tolerable preservation, from ten to twelve feet in diameter, and surrounded with stone seats fifteen inches in breadth. There are also portions of the eastern gateway, flanked on each side by a round tower, and from which are traces of the walls leading to the monastery: above the gateway is a tablet on which are sculptured the royal arms. The parish gives the title of Lord Scone to the Earl of Mansfield, a descendant of William, the first earl, lord chief justice of the Court of King's Bench, who is supposed to have been a native of this place. David Douglas, the eminent botanist, who died while making botanical researches in the Sandwich Islands, in 1834, was born here.