Thursday, 20 June 2013


Scone Palace

scone-douglas-fir.pngScone is a significant landmark in the Perth area, and it's certainly marketed as such: a rich mix of legend, royalty and unverifiable history with a gloss of ancestral prestige.

We expected quite a lot from this former crowning place of Scottish kings. What we got was a disappointing and overpriced stately home.

Undoubtedly, there's a lot of genuine historical interest here, but it's outweighed by the dynastic story of the Earls of Mansfield who own the estate; maybe some of the ancient history is just too intangible to prove. The overall impression was one of a sub-Hello! celebration of inherited wealth and privilege - if you're in any doubt about this, walk down to the gardens and read the display about how the Scone villagers' houses were moved and their thoroughfare through the grounds blocked because the lords of the manor didn't want them coming close to the Big House - rather than a sense of Scone's importance in Scotland's national story.

The day was redeemed by a visit to pay our respects to an ancient relic of a different kind. The Douglas Fir standing in the Palace grounds was grown from a seed sent from America in 1827 by the eminent plant hunter David Douglas, who was born at Scone and had worked as the Palace's gardener. It seemed fitting that such a lofty monument honoured a humble and self-made man.

Posted by em at 16:54 | Comments will be back one day. Please email me instead!