11 Apr: Stealing The Stone of Destiny

The Stone of Scone, an oblong block of red sandstone used for centuries in the coronation of British monarchs, was recovered by Police on April 11th, 1951; three and a half months after its removal from Westminster Abbey on Christmas Day.

Four Scottish students from the University of Glasgow (Ian Hamilton, Gavin Vernon, Kay Matheson and Alan Stuart) stole the stone in the hope it could boost interest in Scottish nationalism. Instead, it seemed to provoke a national discussion about where the stone – which they’d accidentally split in two before bungling it into their Ford Anglia – should now reside.

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly decode the religious myths surrounding this ‘stone of destiny’; explain why Charles III *will* want it to ‘groan’ when he sits on it; and reveal the ingenious way the authorities tracked the stone up to Arbroath… 

Further Reading:

• ‘Theft of the Stone of Scone’ (The Guardian, 2007): https://www.theguardian.com/books/2007/dec/29/featuresreviews.guardianreview

• ‘The students who stole the Stone of Destiny’ (BBC News): https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-tayside-central-63130942

• ‘Coronation Stone of Scone discovered in Scotland’ (Gaumont, 1951):