The Heart of Scotland's History
Scone Palace is a place that breathes history like nowhere else in Scotland. Today, in the 21st century, it is the home of the Earls of Mansfield, and a major attraction to visitors from all over the world. Fifteen hundred years ago, it was the capital of the Pictish kingdom and the centre of the ancient Celtic church. In the intervening centuries, it has been the seat of parliaments and the crowning place of Kings. It has housed the Stone of Destiny and been immortalised in Shakespeare's Macbeth.
Poised above the River Tay, the Palace overlooks the routes north to the Highlands and east through Strathmore to the coast. The Grampian mountains form a distant backdrop, and across the river stands the city of Perth. Two thousand years ago, the Romans camped here, at the very limit of their empire. They never defeated the warlike Picts, who later came to rule Scone, but the followers of St Columba had more success. By the early 7th century, a group of early Christians, the Culdees or servants of God, had established themselves here.
The present Earl and Countess of Mansfield bid you welcome and express the wish that you will enjoy this glimpse of their family home, and hope that one day soon you will visit in person ...
The Palace Tour
There is a great deal for visitors to see during a tour of Scone Palace.
Here, we offer a glimpse of some of the main State Rooms and the treasures they contain.
You are welcome to tour at your leisure. If you have a recent version of Internet Explorer, you can use your mouse to explore each room.
A visit to Scone Palace is incomplete without spending some time in the Palace grounds. They are as splendid as the Palace itself.
The Moot Hill
The Moot Hill was the Ancient Crowning Place of the Kings of Scots. It is located immediately in front of the Palace and is crowned by a tiny Presbyterian Chapel, which, like the Palace, was Gothicized around 1804. A replica of the Stone of Scone sits in front of the Chapel. Click the links in this paragraph or the relevant menu items on the left for more detailed information.
The Lawns and Formal Gardens
The Murray Star MazeThese lie generally in the open space between the Palace and the Wild Garden and Pinetum, separated by the ancient Gateway of Scone. The lawns are home to free-roaming peacocks. The unique Murray Star Maze, designed by international maze designer, Adrian Fisher, and the children's play area provide more energetic diversions, particularly for our younger visitors, while a picnic area offers an alternative to our coffee shop and restaurant on summer days. There are also donkeys, sheep and Highland Cattle in adjacent fields. The family graveyard provides further historical interest.
PinetumThe Wild Garden and Pinetum
Immediately beyond the gateway, at the end of an avenue of lime trees, is a collection of masonry, some pieces of which are relics from the Abbey. One piece is a memorial stone to Alexander Marr, 16th Abbot of Scone. The old Mercat Cross is here also.
Overlooking the stones is a very special Douglas Fir. This was raised from the original seed sent home by David Douglas from America in 1826. David Douglas was born at Scone and worked as an under-gardener here before gaining fame as a plant explorer and collector for the Royal Horticultural Society.
The Pinetum originated with the planting of exotic coniferous trees in 1848, with further additions over the years.