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Stone of Destiny

11 May 2018

A complication has arisen to the Stone of Destiny identification – the piece of red sandstone that is incorporated into the coronation chair in Westminster Abbey. Rosalind Jones in Deposits magazine 27 (summer of 2011) says the Stone of Scone, used to crown the kings of Scotland in Perthshire, and apprehended by Edward I after his conquest of the Scots, may not have been the genuine article. In other words, it may have been switched to a local stone – the red sandstone of Perthshire. The original stone of Scone, she claims, came from Dalriata in the west of Scotland, or from what is now Ulster, and therefore is more likely to have been igneous rather than sedimentary rock. She suggests, tongue in cheek perhaps, that the original stone was black – and was buried in order to stop Edward I getting his hands on it. Presumably it was never dug up agan – which is the weak part of the story. However, talking to a friend that has just returned from a geological trip to western Scotland, there is a lot of sedimentary rock there – especially in coastal areas. In fact, the Torridon massif is made of red sandstone. On that basis there is no requirement for the stone of destiny to be igneous – but it is a nice idea (by that I mean the theory that some canny Scots switched the real thing and substituted a local block of stone for Edward to haul back to England).

While we are in Scotland William has sent in a link to a story about the Romans painting warnings to the highland tribes on the walls of the Antonine wall. This wall was relatively short lived so it did not deter the Picts it was aimed at – or any other Scottish tribe. Go to www.yahoo.com/news/m/6e44c500-8be7-3212-b5e2-ff9e31c6da4/ss_ancient-roma… (the link keeps changing but the story is on the US version of Yahoo and not on the UK version). UK readers go instead to www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5718161/Ancient-Romans-pained-ho…

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