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International heritage event to shine new light on Scone’s royal past

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Photograph of the Moothill today, by Dr Oliver O’Grady - copyright Scone Palace
Photograph of the Moothill today, by Dr Oliver O’Grady - copyright Scone Palace

An exciting project aimed at promoting understanding of the importance of Scone, one of Scotland’s ancient royal centres, is entering a new phase.

An international team of researchers, led by the University of Stirling is holding a public conference in Perth on Thursday 27 and Friday 28 November to reveal what Scone was like in medieval times, develop awareness of Scone’s cultural, historic and symbolic significance, and set the iconic site into its wider European context.

For six centuries, Scone was the symbolic epicentre of state-formation in medieval Scotland.  It was there that Scottish kings were inaugurated and where the political community gathered to advise their monarch and to legislate. 

Despite Scone’s importance in Scottish identity and Scotland’s history, little is known of the form of the site, how it worked, and how ceremonies were conducted here. 

This conference will explore these questions by bringing together scholars from Scotland – researching Scone’s archaeology, architecture, legal and political history – with experts from England, Ireland, Germany, Norway, Sweden and the Czech Republic, who specialise in royal inauguration and assembly places across northern Europe.

Their lectures will give international context for Scone’s cultural and historic significance.  Additionally, they will raise public understanding of Scone’s central place in the making of Scotland, and provide visions for the future safeguarding and development of Scone and its European comparators as precious items of world heritage.

Professor Richard Oram, project leader and Professor of Medieval and Environmental History at the University of Stirling said: “Our project, entitled ‘Royal Scone: parliament, inauguration and national symbol’, has assembled a network of researchers in archaeology, architectural history, legal and political history to develop a wider and more accurate picture of what royal Scone was like.

“This conference is a unique opportunity to hear the findings of these researchers and to learn from our European partners how Scone compares with similar royal centres there. 

“It is also an opportunity to see the fantastic new 3D interactive visualisation of the lost medieval abbey and perhaps even try out an oculus rift headset to walk around its long-vanished buildings.”

The conference sessions and digital demonstrations will take place at the A K Bell Library’s Soutar Theatre and Sandeman meeting room between 9.30am and 5.00pm on Thursday 27 and Friday 28 November.

Booking for the two-day conference costs £75 (£40 students/concessions.  To book a place, see the University’s online shop.

Royal Scone Conference 2014

Karen McIntosh

Public Relations Officer

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