Archaeologists use latest technology to investigate Scone Palace

Published: 13 July 2007

A team of archaeologists from Glasgow University aim to discover more about the lost rich abbey of Scone and about the famous Moot Hill, where Robert Bruce was crowned King of Scots in 1306.

Visitors to Scone Palace this month will be able to watch a team of archaeologists from Glasgow University use the latest technology to investigate the grounds.

The team aims to discover more about the lost rich abbey of Scone and about the famous Moot Hill, where Robert Bruce was crowned King of Scots in 1306.

In ancient times, Scone was an important centre of royal and ecclesiastical power. Scone Abbey was a centre of kingship in medieval Scotland, and archaeologists are amazed that such an important place has left so little trace above ground.  The current investigation is based on geophysical remote sensing. This allows archaeologists to look beneath the ground for buried structures.

During a period of more than 1000 years Scone developed from an early medieval royal settlement into a great Augustinian abbey in the 12th century, before the current palace was created in the years around 1600. The projects aims to find out more about Scone and about its importance as a place of medieval enkingment and worship.

Elspeth Bruce, Visitor Services Manager at Scone Palace said: ‘We are delighted to be supporting these investigations to reveal more about Scone’s remarkable past. This will help our visitors appreciate the remarkable time span as well as Scone’s great importance to the history medieval Scotland.’

The project - which runs until 20 July - is being led by Oliver O’Grady from the Department of Archaeology in the University of Glasgow, along with Peter Yeoman, who is the author of a number of books and other publications on medieval Scotland. The rest of the team from Glasgow University will be supported by a number of local volunteers from the Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust, who will be trained in archaeological remote sensing. The project is supported by the Hunter Archaeological Trust, the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, the Russell Trust, Glasgow University Department of Archaeology, the Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust, and by Mansfield Estates.

Scone Palace timeline:

c700-900  Scone established as power centre of the Pictish province of Gowrie

906  meeting of Constantine II at Scone with Bishop Cellach of St Andrews

1114  founding of new monastery, building works over many decades

1249 Alexander III inaugurated on Stone of Destiny in abbey cemetery

1296  Stone of Destiny (along with other treasures and documents) removed to Westminster by Edward I

1298  abbey attacked

1306  Robert Bruce crowned King of Scots at Scone

1360s  abbey in poor state, young canons instructed not to frequent taverns

1371 / 1390 Robert II and III hold parliaments on Montem (Moot Hill) of Scone

1400s pilgrims attracted to shrine of St Fergus in the abbey church

early 1500s  home to Canon Robert Carver, prolific composer of church music

1551  major church repairs in progress

1559  sacked by Protestant reformers

1606  lands granted to David Murray, Lord Stormont

1618  Parish church constructed on Moothill

1631  Lord Stormont dies, buried in mausoleum on Moot Hill

1651  Charles II last king crowned on Moot Hill

Further infomation:

Martin Shannon, Media Relations, University of Glasgow 0141 330 8593

Elspeth Bruce, Scone Palace 01738 552 300 

Oliver O’Grady,  07821155677 
Peter Yeoman, 07771 600454

First published: 13 July 2007

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