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Nov 30

The Return of the Stone of Scone to Scotland

Stone of Destiny
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Stone of Destiny
Honours of Scotland with the Stone of Destiny
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"A' Chlach a bha mo sheanmhair
'S mo sheanair oirre seanchas
Air tilleadh mar a dh'fhalbh i
Mo ghalghad a' Chlach"

"The Stone that my grandmother
And grandfather used to talk about
Has returned as it left
My brave Stone"

~ Òran na cloiche, "Song of the Stone," 1950, Donald MacIntyre

On December 25, 1950 a group of students from the University of Glasgow removed the Stone from Westminster Abbey (where it had been residing since its removal by Edward Longshanks in 1296) and brought it back to Scotland where it remained hidden (and possibly replicated) for four months before it was returned to Westminster. The stone was finally returned to Scotland in 1996 and was officially installed beside the other Honours of Scotland in Edinburgh Castle on St Andrew's Day.

The Stone of Destiny, also known as the Stone of Scone ( “Clach-na-cinneamhain,"  “stone of descent”), is symbolic of Scottish sovereignty and independence and was used as the coronation seat for Scottish kings beginning with Fergus, early in the 6th century.

The Stone has a colourful history.

In 1296 Edward I of England stole from the Abbey of Scone in Perthshire, Scotland and installed it in his own Abbey of Westminster in London.   Several attempts to steal or reacquire the stone were made over time.

 

In 1892, Fenians, working to gain independence for Ireland, allegedly conspired to steal the Stone from Westminster and take it to Ireland.   This plan was never executed.

 

In 1950 a small group of people did manage to steal the Stone of Scone and transport it back to Scotland. It was quickly recovered, however, and returned to London where it remained for another forty-six years. 

 

In 1996, the Stone of Scone was returned to Scotland formally on St. Andrew's Day where it is now on display in Edinburgh Castle

 

This tartan was designed to commemorate the return of the Stone of Destiny from Westminster to Scotland.

For more about the history of famous stones of royalty, click The Stone of Destiny shown with the Honours of Scotland.