Jul 20, 2007
The location of the abbey at Moot Hill, the original home of the Stone of Destiny, was forgotten centuries ago.
But it has now been identified by experts from Glasgow University who have been surveying the grounds of Scone Palace for the first time.
They used scanners to detect buried structures and found part of the abbey church and a bell tower.
The coronation of Pictish and Scottish kings took place at Moot Hill for hundreds of years, and a royal abbey was built there by 1120AD.
The archaeologists have been examining the site using a sophisticated technique based on geophysical remote sensing.
Project leader Oliver O'Grady said: "We have been really surprised by the high quality of the survey results so far, revealing a very clear outline of the great west end of the abbey church, complete with at least one bell tower.
"The tremendous importance of Scone - where kings were made and where Parliaments met - is only matched by how little we know about the reality of the place.
"Now we can locate the essential outline of the church and hints of where the cloister and other buildings stood, and all without putting a spade in the ground."
Suzanne Urquhart from Mansfield Estates, which runs Scone Palace, added: "To see the plan of what was a beautiful Gothic church emerge from the ground after being lost for 400 years is very exciting.
"Some major gaps are being filled in our understanding of Scone's amazing history, and we are now talking to the archaeologists about how the project might develop."
The survey has also uncovered evidence of a massive ditch around Moot Hill as well as information about its construction.