The Stone of Destiny & The Scots: The Stone’s Journey to Perth Museum

John Hulbert

Illustrated by Rob Hands

Tippermuir Books



ISBN: 9781913836177


Publication date: 1 April 2024

Rights: World



In December 2020, it was announced that the Stone of Destiny was to be returned to Perth to be the centrepiece of the new Perth Museum. In this location, the Stone of Destiny is as near as it is possible to be to its historical location in Scone Abbey. This is as it should be. It is where the Stone of Destiny belongs.

This book tells the story of the Stone of Destiny and The Scots, an ancient wandering people, referred to in the Declaration of Arbroath. The chronicles record that they brought the stone from Spain to Ireland and then to Argyll, but these accounts have been dismissed by most experts as, ‘nothing but myth and fantasy’. The book, however, reports new evidence from DNA, archaeological and linguistic sources, which suggests that there may be more than a kernel of truth in that legendary claim.

Dr Hulbert argues that there must be two Stones of Destiny – the ancient ‘Irish’ one which is now lost, and the Stone of Scone, quarried from Kincarrathie, located about a mile from Scone Abbey. The ‘Irish’ Stone may have been discarded by MacAlpin in favour of a local Pictish icon in 843, or, more likely, it may have been substituted by the monks of Scone Abbey to deceive Edward I in 1296. The book speculates about the ultimate fate of that ‘Irish’ Stone.

Meanwhile the Stone of Scone was exiled to Westminster Abbey, where it remained for 700 years. Its history before this exile, and possible previous uses, are explored, as is the political manoeuvring which led to its return to Scotland in 1996. Its journey from Westminster Abbey to Edinburgh Castle, and the elaborate ceremony of its handover (akin to that afforded to a visiting Head of State) are described, along with the conversion of Perth’s century-old City Hall to a prestigious museum fit for such an important national icon.