"St Edward's Chair with the Stone of Scone beneath the seat"
Coronation Chair with the Stone of Scone. By an unknown engraver, published in A History of England 1855
Public DomainCoronation Chair with the Stone of Scone. By an unknown engraver, published in A History of England 1855 - Credit: Wikimedia Commons

 

The Stone of Scone, for centuries housed at Westminster and used for the coronations of English monarchs, is now in Edinburgh Castle.  For a stone, it has led an interesting life, with many variations on the story of its origins and journeys.  What does seem certain is that the stone held special significance for Scotland in that it was used for the coronations of Scottish monarchs.

 

Wherever the stone originates from, it was captured by Edward I during his Scottish campaign in 1295 and brought back to England as spoils of war.  In Westminster Abbey it was fitted into a wooden chair known as Edward's Chair and has since been used as a coronation chair, as it was for the coronation of Elizabeth I.   In 1914 the chair, and presumably the stone, were damaged by an explosion credited to the Suffragettes and on Christmas Day 1950 it was kidnapped by a group of Scottish students intent on returning it to Scotland.  Eventually the stone was returned to London, but in 1996 the then Conservative Government officially returned it to Scotland with the proviso that it could be borrowed and used in Westminster for a future coronation of a British sovereign.