WORK has began to restore an ancient archway which once stood at the entrance to the historic site of the coronation of Scotland’s kings after it was reduced to rubble by a lorry.
The historic archway in the grounds of Scone Palace in Perthshire is believed to have once been the entrance to the Augustinian abbey where a succession of Scottish monarchs were crowned, and may have stood since 1114, when the abbey was founded by King Alexander I.
But centuries of Scottish history were wiped out in September 2010, when a delivery lorry smashed into the structure.
The accident also destroyed the two historically important carved armorial panels, which were above the arch, and sent pieces of masonry scattering up to 15 metres across the grounds of the palace, now home to the Earls of Mansfield.
Yesterday stonemasons arrived to begin the painstaking task of piecing together the wrecked masonry and restoring the archway to its former glory in a project which has been described as “completing the ‘world’s largest jigsaw puzzle”. The full restoration project is expected to last for 12 months.