Thursday, April 14, 2016



Both Scotland and England revered The Stone of Destiny for centuries as a holy relic. Scots and English fought over this Honor Of Scotland for over 700 years.
The Stone of Destiny played a central role in the coronation of Scottish kings.
Like most Scottish national icons, the origins of the Stone of Destiny, also commonly known as the Stone of Scone, have been lost in the mists of time and subject to legends.

One theory grants the stone a biblical origin as Jacob’s pillow. Legend says part of the ground of Macbeth's castle suddenly gave way, and sank down about six feet. A discovered vault contained a large stone buried during Macbeth's reign. Two round tablets found beside the stone were deciphered. 'The shadow of kingdom come, until Sylphs in air carry me again to Bethel.' So people believed unseen hands brought Jacob's pillow from Bethel and dropped it on the site where the palace of Scoon stands. Perhaps Macbeth deposited the stone at the bottom of his Castle on the hill of Dunsinane to protect it from the trouble of the times.

Another theory mentioned the stone was produced in various parts of Ireland and Scotland. Whatever the stone’s origin, the icon was used at Iona, Dunadd, Dunstaffnage, and Scone for enthroning Scottish monarchs.
Despite the stone’s unremarkable appearance, this block of sandstone had a turbulent history. Men and armies fought over, hid the relic, and captured the icon for over 700 years.
In 1292, John Balliol became the last king of Scotland to use the Stone of Destiny. In 1296, Edward I of England captured the stone and carried it to Westminster Abbey in London. For the next 700 years, the stolen Stone of Destiny remained under the coronation chair on which English and British sovereigns sat during their coronation.

On Christmas Day 1950, four Scottish nationalist students removed the Stone from Westminster Abbey, hid it in their car, and drove it north. The students left the stone symbolically in Arbroath Abbey, draped in a Saltire. Saltire is the Saint Andrew’s Cross, the flag of Scotland.

For almost 400 years Arbroath Abbey was one of the grandest monasteries in Scotland. Founded in 1178 by King William I, ‘the Lion’, in memory of the martyr Thomas Becket, the abbey is famous for its association with the Declaration of Arbroath, in which Scotland’s nobles swore their independence from England.

The English moaned its loss with a huge public outcry. The police restored the stone to Westminster Abbey.

The coronation of Elizabeth, HM The Queen sat above the Stone at her coronation in 1953. This is the last time the fought-over stone was used.
Forty-three years later, on St Andrews Day, 30 November 1996, the Stone of Destiny returned to Scotland amid much ceremony, and found a permanent home at Edinburgh Castle, placed alongside the Honours of Scotland, the country’s crown jewels. About ten thousand people lined the Royal Mile to watch a procession of dignitaries and troops escort the famous Stone from Holyroodhouse Palace to the castle.

Visitors can view the Stone of Destiny and the Honours of Scotland at Edinburgh Castle. A replica of the Stone reposes on the grounds of Scone Palace in Perthshire.
I have seen the Stone of Destiny. It’s not large, nor imposing. It is just a stone. Amazing what a legend can do.
Can you think of a legend built up around an uninspiring item? I think of Pilgrims' Rock, another  common appearing rock with a legendary name. Leave a comment to win an autographed copy of my award-winning Scottish historical, Masquerade Marriage.

ANNE GREENE delights in writing about alpha heroes who aren’t afraid to fall on their knees in prayer, and about gutsy heroines who accomplish great things. Her Women of Courage Series, spotlights heroic women of World War II, with the first book, ANGEL IN STEEL WINGS now available. Anne’s private investigating series, Handcuffed In Texas, has the first book, HOLLY GARDEN, PI, RED IS FOR ROOKIE, also available. Anne makes her home in McKinney, Texas, with her husband Colonel Larry Greene, and has four children. Anne’s highest hope is that her stories transport the reader to an awesome new world and touch hearts to seek a deeper spiritual relationship with the Lord Jesus. Buy Anne’s books on Learn more of Anne at





  1. The only one I can think of right off is the Blarney Stone in Ireland, or Scotland, not sure which. I don't believe kissing a stone is lucky. Sounds silly to me. I believe in the "luck" of the Almighty. Also known as blessings.

  2. I love this story each time I hear it. I sure hope to see the stone soon. Anne, is it true that it's pronounced like skoon?

    1. Hi Debra, Since cow is coo, I think its quite possible stone is pronounced skoon. However when I was there, I didn't hear stone pronounced at all. So nice to meet with you here, Debra!

  3. Hi Debbie, I kissed that silly blarney stone. But that event is closing this June. Anyhow, that's a great analogy. Thanks for stopping in.

  4. I meant to say =Stone of Scone (Skoon). I didn't want to say Scone like Scone, because many people say SKON not SKONE. I'll report back if I get t Edinburgh next year and ask!

  5. Enjoyed this post, Anne. I'm thinking of the major oak in Sherwood Forest and the legend of Robin Hood. Have seen that tree and it's imposing in size. When we were in Scotland in either August 1998 or 1999 went to Edinburgh for the royal military tattoo and festival. Went into Edinburgh Castle and learned of its fascinating history. That was so exciting. Don't remember seeing the Stone of Destiny on that trip.

  6. Hi Pat, Good to see you here. Yes, the tattoo is exciting. I love the kilts and bagpipes and all the different countries. The oak in Sherwood Forest is a great thought. I missed seeing the forest when I was in Scotland, but did see the stone. We both need to go back and see what we missed. I loved it there!

  7. This is a fascinating post! I'm drawing a blank on legend built up around an uninspiring item.

  8. Hi Caryl, no problem. I'll drop your name in the chance for the book! Nice to see you here.

  9. Congratulations! Caryl Kane won an autographed copy of Masquerade Marriage. Would you send me your snail mail address, Caryl, so I can send you the book.