Stone of Destiny returns as The Perth Museum opens

The new £27 million Perth Museum has now opened to the public following an 8 year transformation and is less than a 5 minute walk from the hotel!

Construction work on the new museum at Perth City Hall is now complete, with the museum opening its doors to the public on 30th March 2024.

Initial local reaction has been very positive with over 3000 people passsing through the museum on the opening day, viewing a wide selection of rarely seen objects from the nationally recognised Perth and Kinross collection. Entry to the main museum is free and there is a small charge to see the current Unicorn exibition, which we were delighted to lend our Royal Coat of Arms to, presented to The Royal George following the visit of Queen Victoria to the hotel in 1848.

The star of the show is undoubtedly The Stone of Destiny, which is free to view, but tickets are required to be booked in advance. The red sandstone block was originally kept at the now-ruined Scone Abbey in Perthshire, and was used for early Scottish Kingship ceremonies until it was taken to England by King Edward I in 1296. Geological testing revealed the stone was quarried at Scone, on the outskirts of Perth. It was taken to Westminster Abbey by Englands’ King Edward I in 1296 and is still used to crown British monarchs.

On Christmas Day 1950, four Scottish nationalist students removed the stone from Westminster Abbey and smuggled it back to Scotland, sparking a huge manhunt. Hidden for months, it appeared in Arbroath Abbey before being returned to London. In 1996, The Stone of Destiny was brought back to Scotland, legally this time, and is currently displayed at Edinburgh Castle.

In September 2022, following the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at Balmoral Castle, it was announced that the stone would be temporarily returned to Westminster Abbey for the coronation of King Charles III, on 6th May 2023, before being returned to Perth for the opening of the new museum.

Former council leader Murray Lyle said he was "hugely proud and excited" at the decision, which he described as a "game-changer" for The City of Perth.

Perthshire North MSP and former deputy first minister John Swinney said he was "absolutely delighted" by the news of its return. "As someone who has campaigned for the Stone to return to Perthshire for almost a quarter of a century, it sometimes seemed like this day would never come," the SNP MSP said.

Tory MSP for Mid-Scotland and Fife, Murdo Fraser, said the "tremendous" news was "a real boost in dark times".

We look forward to welcoming the many visitors to Perth in the coming years.