This is the University of Stirling website for a research project relating to the Stone of Scone / Stone of Destiny (the Stone).

The Stone comprises a block of worked Perthshire sandstone with attached iron handles. This physically unprepossessing object is a highly symbolic national icon. Used at Scone, Scotland, in the inauguration of Scottish kings, in 1296 the English King Edward I removed it to Westminster Abbey. Here it was enshrined in a bespoke, finely painted wooden chair since used in the coronation of most English/UK monarchs (the Coronation Chair). Famously, it was ‘repatriated’ back to Scotland in 1950, returned to Westminster in 1951 and, since 1996, has been back in Scotland on loan.

The £26.5million conversion of the former Perth City Hall into a new museum has started conversations anew about the Stone, which will be a centrepiece when the museum opens in 2024. In 2023, the Stone returns to Westminster Abbey to perform its role as a holy relic in the sacred rite of coronation for Charles III. These events provide an unparalleled opportunity to explore for the first time the Stone’s contemporary authenticity and social value in real time as it moves between multiple contexts and to consider what this means for the Stone’s future.

You can read more about the Authenticity’s Child: contemporary meanings and future destinies for the Stone of Scone project here. For updates, please see the Notes and News blog.

Image: ‘A last glimpse of the Coronation Chairs prior to the closing of Westminster Abbey for the Coronation Preparations.’ Drawn by Enoch Ward. Black & White 12 April 1902, 522-23.

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