Saturday, February 8, 2014

Scotland: Scone Palace

Scone Palace (pronounced to rhyme with spoon) has been of interest to me for at least twenty years but this was my first visit. Before I was married I worked as a secretary and part of that job meant helping to prepare for graduate-level history courses. Oh what fun!!! I suppose that's where my love for church history really took root. Late in the week I would receive the lectures for Friday evening and begin to decipher them into an outline that would then form the basis for student notes and overhead projector flip displays (this was just before Powerpoint came into its own). Then I would take all the materials to the class and sit and flip the displays over as Dr. B lectured. In this way we went through four semesters of church history: Ancient, Early, Medieval, and Reformation (with special emphasis on Scotland). 

Dr. B certainly communicated a lasting love for studying these subjects and sometimes the way he would communicate things left you with an almost magical imagination of certain places. Somehow the Stone of Scone or Stone of Destiny made its way into those lectures and has fascinated me since. In early and medieval days this was the place (the little mound outside the castle, not yet pictured) where the kings of Scotland were crowned and they were crowned while sitting on this sacred stone (which now resides inside Edinburgh Castle and is taken down to Westminster Abbey for present day coronations and fitted into the special coronation throne on display there). 

So the castle has been on my list for awhile......

The present-day castle is interesting enough but only dates to the beginning of the 19th century. There is nothing left of Scone Abbey which made this a sacred place and ideal situation for crowning kings.

The property has been owned by different families over the years as they fell in and out of grace with the current reigning king. The rooms were lovely to walk around (no pictures allowed) and they had an especially nice gift store with food products from the Scone estate.

And there were lots of peacocks roaming about!!!

And a beautiful maze which was quite hard for some to navigate! (Good thing there was a lookout tower!)

Acres and acres of lovely places to walk.

And even some blackberries to enjoy! (I am always on the lookout!)

An historic fir tree!

The bowling green (I think).

The best time to visit this palace would be during rhododendron season -- the place was covered with them and I can just imagine the beauty of when they are all in bloom!

An old graveyard:

And an old mercat cross:

Standing by the gates which were created to look ancient and run down!

They provide a beautiful entrance to the palace area:

At the side of the grounds was a playground for children -- always helpful for children that are not as enthusiastic about history as the adults might be!

I am always interested in outbuildings. I think some of these were the stables and have been converted into homes:

And this is the modern day chapel on Moot Hill outside the palace. This hill is THE place for crowning the kings.

And here I am! I made it! After all those years of having this stone swirling around in my mind. (We also got to see the original stone when we were at Edinburgh Castle.)

Beautiful coat of arms in the side of the chapel:

Quite an ornate interior of the chapel:

A longer view of the palace:

Now I hope these images will stay in the children's minds and perhaps one day they will be just as enthusiastic about church history!


elizabeth said...

how lovely! what a dream come true for you! The chapel reminded me of a scene in this book:
it's a lovely easy read... you may like it! :)

It is sad to me that so many churches today do not have this sense of the sacred and of history... Lord have mercy on us!

So glad for your wonderful trip and to read about this...and see such beautiful pictures!!

Laura said...

love the story... all things in our lives have purpose and meaning, God uses it all... loved reading this...