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Thousands to descend on Scone Palace as it hosts world championship in medieval combat in a first for U.K.

Scone Palace is getting back to its medieval roots this May when it plays host to the world championships for full- contact medieval combat, a sport rising in popularity around the globe.

Thousands will descend on the historic visitor attraction, known for being the crowning place of medieval kings, when it hosts the International Medieval Combat Federation World Championships from May 10th to 13th 2018.

Set to be one of the hottest tickets for 2018, the event will attract 25,000 visitors, 500 competitors and 500 officials from 31 countries worldwide. Many of the competitors will set up a medieval encampment on the grounds of the Palace. Tickets are now on sale for the event, which will include full-contact medieval battles, duelling, team fights, archery, falconry and much more.

This marks the first time that the U.K. has hosted the championships, which take place every three years at historic venues around the globe.

While medieval re-enactment fighting has been popular for decades, countries around the world are signing up for full-contact events, in which ancient combat is revived as a regulated sport featuring historically accurate weapons and armour. Organisers and participants say the sport is relatively free of injuries and that rugby players sustain more bumps and scrapes than those taking part in full-contact medieval fights.

Scone Palace’s hosting of the world championships came about after William Murray, Viscount Stormont, son of the Earl and Countess of Mansfield, learned about the growing popularity of the sport. While working in New York, William met several American and Canadian fighters and the Vice-President of the International Medieval Combat Federation. William then offered to host the 2018 World Championships at Scone Palace.

William said of his first brush with full-contact medieval combat:

“It was quite the spectacle, like watching boxing in armour. It was hugely entertaining to watch, and not for the faint-hearted. I was brought up watching the film A Knight’s Tale, so I found myself completely taken by the sport. It’s a real coup for us to be hosting the World Championships.”

Stephen Brannigan, head of House Opening for Scone Palace, said:

“We’re thrilled to be hosting the International Medieval Combat Federation World Championships at Scone Palace, which we believe is the perfect setting for the event. It’s going to be a real-life Game of Thrones and an event for everyone – adults, kids and families. We know they’ll share our excitement for witnessing this fascinating and upcoming sport.”

More information available at www.scone-palace.co.uk and tickets are available from www.ticketmaster.co.uk 

Mary Berry at Scone Palace, Perthshire

Mary Berry programme is dedicated to Scone Palace’s Lady Butler

This week’s episode of Mary Berry’s Country House Secrets will be dedicated to long-time staff member Jean Stewart, who passed away shortly after the BBC One show was filmed there.

Jean, the Lady Butler, had worked at Scone Palace for 39 years, first for the late Lord Mansfield and then for the current Earl and Countess of Mansfield. Jean, 75, died last May after a bout of pneumonia a couple of months after the filming of the TV programme. She is honoured with a mention in Wednesday night’s episode.

Lady Mansfield described Jean, from the nearby village of Guildtown, as “a treasure” and “sorely missed”. She said: “Jean worked here for almost four decades and was loved by everybody. She always had a smile for fellow staff and our guests. Jean made so many friends over the years and really was an absolute treasure who is sorely missed, so it will be bittersweet watching Wednesday night’s episode.”

Jean’s widower Chic Stewart said he planned to tune in on Wednesday, adding: “Jean was a hard worker who loved her time at the Palace. She was an early bird who’d often be first in at work. The fact she worked there for 29 years showed she enjoyed what she did.”

The historic Perthshire visitor attraction is known worldwide for being the crowning place of the Kings of Scots. In the programme, which airs on BBC One at 8pm on November 29th, Mary Berry will create dishes inspired by Scone Palace’s long, lauded heritage. Wednesday night’s episode is the second in the four-part cooking series, which gives the public a unique behind-the-scenes peek at stately home life.

Mary’s visit to Scone Palace takes her off the well-trodden tourist paths to meet the staff and owners, visit its gardens, private quarters and wider estate, and create sumptuous dishes in the Palace’s stunning Victorian-style Old Kitchen. Scone Palace’s kitchen gardens – headed up by Brian Cunningham of BBC’s Beechgrove Garden – provide the ingredients for many of the dishes cooked there, including its annual festive lunches every Christmas.

Mary and her TV crew spent ten days filming at Scone Palace, which is owned by the 9th Earl of Mansfield. The Earl and Countess of Mansfield, daughter Lady Iona Murray and son William Murray, Viscount Stormont, all feature in the programme along with many of the Palace and Estate staff team. Mary is seen cooking with the Countess and Lady Iona, attends a ceilidh in the Palace and is accompanied by game keepers, Roddy and Stewart McIntosh, deer stalking on the Logiealmond hills.

The wider Scone Palace estate covers 24,000 acres. Stretching from the stunning River Tay across to the hills of Logiealmond, it provides some of the best salmon fishing, deer stalking and a wide range of agricultural and forestry activities. Scone Palace is host to regular events throughout the year, including the Scottish Game Fair, 1980’s Rewind Music Festival and its own Spirits of Scone Halloween ‘Frightfest’. It also provides accommodation, allowing guests to experience the unique opportunity of staying within the Palace.

Other stately homes featured in Mary’s new programme include: Highclere Castle (the fictional Downton Abbey) in Hampshire; glorious Goodwood in Sussex; and Powderham Castle in Devon.

More information is available at www.scone-palace.co.uk

More photos available here:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/t1kbr0atqbknd5h/AACUv6lAu2XyJJjYRlblvpqva?dl=0

 

Photo credits: Courtesy of BBC/Scone Palace.

Photo captions: Jean Stewart, long-time Lady Butler at Scone Palace; Mary Berry with Scone Palace ghillie Iain Kirk.

Scone Palace

Scone Palace is ‘King of Scones’

  • Record number of scones scoffed as Perthshire attraction lives up to its name

Scone Palace is known worldwide for being the crowning place of the Kings of Scots, among them Robert the Bruce and Macbeth. But visitors to the five-star visitor attraction in Perthshire are not only devouring history – they’re scoffing the Palace scones in record numbers.

During this tourist season, which ran from April to October, Scone Palace has sold a record 42,500 scones. Given that 100,000 people pass over the Palace’s royal threshold, the popularity of its home baked goods has been keeping Palace staff extra busy in the coffee shop and restaurant.

Stephen Brannigan, Head of House Opening at Scone Palace, said:

“Naturally, visitors think Scone is the perfect place for a scone, which means our scones have always been a popular treat for our visitors. But this year sales have been through the roof. It may be down to the general U.K.-wide passion for baking. Or it could be down to the wider selection of scones we had on offer this season. Whatever the reason, Scone Palace seems to literally be living up to its name!”

Scone Palace, which will share its kitchens and cooking heritage in a new BBC One cooking show later this month, Mary Berry’s Country House Secrets, is closed now for the Winter season. However, visitors can still enjoy a scone at Scone in the Palace coffee shop throughout the winter months of November, December, February and March when there is FREE admission to the grounds and gardens. Opening times are Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10.00 am – 4.00 pm.

For more information visit www.scone-palace.co.uk

Second Spirits of Scone event at Scone Palace a screaming success

With more than 4,000 visitors over six nights, Scone Palace’s second Spirits of Scone event was declared a screaming success.

The five-star visitor attraction transformed its grounds into a horrorfest in the run-up to Halloween to offer an illuminated tour featuring some of Perthshire’s scariest folk tales.

Historic Scone Palace collaborated with NL Productions and Perth theatre group Ad-Lib Theatre Arts for the six-night event, which saw gruesome characters from Scottish history brought back to life. A gravedigger popped up in the Palace graveyard, a ‘healer’ investigated for witchcraft shared her potions and a cannibal butcher, among others, populated the Murray Maze. There was also spooky storytelling in the chapel.

Heather McArthur, sales and events manager for Scone Palace, said:

“As several of our visitors pointed out, you couldn’t make up the setting we have here. We have a graveyard and chapel on hand, and it doesn’t get scarier than being in a maze with some gruesome characters. We knew there was a demand for making Spirits of Scone bigger and better, and expanding it from three to six nights proved hugely successful. The feedback we had from visitors was extremely positive and we’re already looking forward to next year’s Spirits of Scone.”

For more information visit www.scone-palace.co.uk

 

Scone palace spirits of Scone

Tickets selling fast for spooky Halloween event at Scone Palace

Organisers of an event that promises to transform historic Scone Palace into six nights of extreme spookiness are urging the public to book their tickets quickly.

The producers of the Spirits of Scone event say tickets are selling fast for a spine-tingling experience that will combine it with some of Perthshire’s scariest folk tales as it extends Spirits of Scone, launched last year.

The historic grounds of Scone Palace will be transformed into a horrorscape for the event, which runs from October 26th to October 31st. Spirits of Scone will offer a thrilling illuminated tour around the Palace grounds, including the graveyard and the Ghoul’s Maze. Some gruesome characters from Scottish history will be brought back to life with spine-tingling stories inspired by local folklore.

Heather McArthur, sales and events manager for Scone Palace, said:

“We were impressed by the turnout at our inaugural Spirits of Scone event last year, and we’re already getting a lot of interest in our extended 2017 event. That’s why we’re encouraging the public not to delay in booking their tickets.

She added: “We’re once more working with Ad-Lib Theatre Arts and NL Productions on the event and this talented creative team has really turned up the fright dial. Spirits of Scone 2017 is not going to be for the faint-hearted!”

There will be a ghoulish selection of hot and cold food available. All children must be accompanied by an adult and, due to the nature of this event, it is not suitable for children under the age of eight.

Tickets start at £5.00. Tickets and more information available at www.scone-palace.co.uk

For images of Spirits of Scone 2016 click here (Credit: Perthshire Picture Agency):

https://www.dropbox.com/s/jxndbpzrtib8208/Spirits%20of%20Scone%20-%20pics%20by%20Graeme%20Hart%20Perthshire%20Picture%20Agency.zip?dl=0

Spooktacular success for Scone Palace Twilight Illuminations

More than 2700 visitors descended on Scone Palace last weekend to enjoy its Halloween events, including the spook-filled All Hallows’ Eve with the Spirits of Scone Twilight Illuminations.

The Palace teamed up with the creative team behind the award-winning Enchanted Forest to host Twilight Illuminations, a Halloween sound and light show with a difference and the first of its kind for Scone Palace. Running over the course of three nights, it proved a huge success, with visitors sharing their ghoulish pictures on Facebook.

Together with Daytime Spooktacular, a series of afternoon events for younger children, it brought Scone Palace’s visitor numbers to just over 2700 last Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Twilight Illuminations was an interactive experience with the ‘Spirits of Scone’ dressed in period costumes and guiding visitors as they walked through the grounds to enter the Palace’s ancient graveyard. With the success of this year’s ‘taster’ show, Scone Palace hope to make this an annual event.

Sarah Butler, Chief Executive of Scone Palace commented:

“What better setting for a spooky Halloween adventure than Scone Palace’s ancient grounds? We’re delighted to have welcomed so many people to celebrate the spookiest weekend of the year and to experience the Palace and grounds in this unique and exciting way.

Sarah continued:

“It was wonderful to see how the creative team transformed Scone Palace into something that we are sure the many Spirits of Scone would be proud of! This year was a ‘taster’ and we hope to grow this event in 2017 to produce an even bigger and better Halloween illuminated tour next year with even more thrills for visitors to experience.”

Twilight Illuminations marked the end of Scone Palace’s 50th season as a leading tourist attraction. The Palace has now closed and will reopen early next year. Visitors can still access the grounds and gardens, Coffee Shop and Food/Christmas shop every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10.00am to 4.00pm from 4th November to 18th December 2016 and 3th February – 31st March 2017.

For further information visit www.scone-palace.co.uk

SCONE PALACE INVITES FAMILIES TO EXPERIENCE ‘TASTER’ HALLOWEEN SHOW

Scone Palace, the crowning place of Scottish Kings, has teamed up with the creative team behind the award-winning Enchanted Forest to create a spine-tingling sound and light show to celebrate Halloween.

The Palace are encouraging families not to miss out on the opportunity to experience All Hallows’ Eve with the Spirits of SconeTwilight Illuminations, an atmospheric tour of sound and light which will guide you around the Palace’s garden and graveyard. This will offer visitors a flavour of this new event which will grow to become a major part of their annual programme.

Running a series of free flowing tours for three nights from 5.00pm – 8.00pm on the 28th– 30th October, the illuminated sound and light show will stimulate the senses and encourage visitors, both young and old, to let their imagination run wild. The tour, which will be approximately 25 minutes long, is an interactive experience with the Spirits of Scone dressed in period costumes guiding visitors as they walk through the grounds and enter the Palace’s ancient graveyard. There are, of course, some other eerie, atmospheric surprises along the way…

The Palace is hoping this brand new taster event will attract many people to enjoy a truly unique Halloween experience in the grounds of one of Scotland’s most historic visitor attractions. Sarah Butler, Chief Executive of Scone Palace commented:

“At a particularly mystical time of year, we are delighted to be hosting a very special ambient sound and light show here in the grounds of Scone Palace. We hope many people will come and celebrate Halloween with us and enjoy exploring our gardens and graveyard on our Twilight Illuminations tour.

“It has been wonderful working closely with the creative team behind the Enchanted Forest to come up with something that we are sure the many Spirits of Scone would be proud of! This year we are offering visitors a ‘taster’ and plan to grow this event in 2017 to produce an even bigger and better Halloween illuminated tour next year with even more thrills for visitors to experience.”

As it has a few scarier elements to the tour, All Hallows’ Eve with the Spirits of Scone – Twilight Illuminations is not suitable for children under 8 years old, but Scone Palace has ensured there is plenty for the younger children to enjoy during Halloween weekend. A packed Daytime Spooktacular calendar of events are planned on Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th October including ghoulish puppet shows, face-painting and a competitive fancy dress competition. Families with older children can stay on and enjoy one of the earlier tours which will run from 5.00pm – 8.00pm.

A special Halloween menu will available in the Palace Coffee Shop from 4.00pm – 8.00pm to warm people up during the illuminated show with an array of devilish dishes to choose from, including pumpkin soup, ghoulish goulash and devil’s chocolate cake.

Admission to All Hallows’ Eve with the Spirits of Scone – Twilight Illuminations is free for Season Tickets holders, Adults – £6.70, Children – £4.80 and Families – £23.00. Tickets are available to purchase online or on the evening. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

For further information visit www.scone-palace.co.uk

Scone Palace partners with Enchanted Forest creative team to launch ‘taster’ Halloween show

Scone Palace, the crowning place of Scottish Kings, has teamed up with the creative team behind the award-winning Enchanted Forest to create a spine-tingling sound and light show to celebrate Halloween. All Hallows’ Eve with the Spirits of Scone – Twilight Illuminations, is an atmospheric tour of the sound and music which will guide you around the Palace’s garden and graveyard. This will offer visitors a flavour of this new event which will grow to become a major part of their annual programme.


Running a series of free flowing tours for three nights from 5.00pm – 8.00pm on the 28th– 30th October, the illuminated sound and light show will stimulate the senses and encourage visitors, both young and old, to let their imagination run wild. The tour, which will be approximately 25 minutes long, is an interactive experience with the Spirits of Scone dressed in period costumes guiding visitors as they walk through the grounds and enter the Palace’s ancient graveyard. There are, of course, some other eerie, atmospheric surprises along the way…


The illuminated tour with the Spirits of Scone is an exciting collaboration for Scone Palace working closely with Derek Allan, Producer of the Enchanted Forest, which is launching its latest sound and light show, SHIMMER, in Pitlochry’s Faskally Wood this week.

The Palace is hoping this brand new taster event will attract many people to enjoy a truly unique Halloween experience in the grounds of one of Scotland’s most historic visitor attractions. Sarah Butler, Chief Executive of Scone Palace commented:

“At a particularly mystical time of year, we are delighted to be hosting a very special ambient sound and light show here in the grounds of Scone Palace. We hope many people will come and celebrate Halloween with us and enjoy exploring our gardens and graveyard on our Twilight Illuminations tour.

“It has been wonderful working closely with Derek and his talented creative team to come up with something that we are sure the many Spirits of Scone would be proud of! This year we are offering visitors a ‘taster’ and plan to grow this event in 2017 to produce an even bigger and better Halloween illuminated tour next year with even more thrills for visitors to experience.”

Derek Allan, Producer of All Hallows’ Eve with the Spirits of Scone, added:

“Scone Palace provides a spectacular backdrop for a gothic, other-worldly Halloween themed sound and light show. It has been great fun working with Palace team to come up with a unique, interactive and thought-provoking sound and light tour of which I am sure many, many people, from children to pensioners, will love.”

As it has a few scarier elements to the tour, All Hallows’ Eve with the Spirits of Scone – Twilight Illuminations is not suitable for children under 8 years old, but Scone Palace has ensured there is plenty for the younger children to enjoy during Halloween weekend. A packed Daytime Spooktacular calendar of events are planned on Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th October including ghoulish puppet shows, face-painting and a competitive fancy dress competition. Families with older children can stay on and enjoy one of the earlier tours which will run from 5.00pm – 8.00pm.

A special Halloween menu will available in the Palace Coffee Shop from 4.00pm – 8.00pm to warm people up during the illuminated show with an array of devilish dishes to choose from, including pumpkin soup, ghoulish goulash and devil’s chocolate cake.

Admission to All Hallows’ Eve with the Spirits of Scone – Twilight Illuminations is free for Season Tickets holders, Adults – £6.70, Children – £4.80 and Families – £23.00. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

For further information visit www.scone-palace.co.uk

Scone Palace wins Prestigious Customer Feedback Award

Scone Palace has won an Award of Excellence based on customer feedback. The award was given by Irish coach tour operator, CIE Tours International, which recognises the quality of the UK’s hotels and visitor attractions by awarding an Excellence Award to those who have received a greater that 90% customer satisfaction rating.

Scone Palace has earned an Excellence Award, which this year was based on the feedback of 12,000 visitors CIE brought to the UK last year.

CIE launched its UK awards four years ago, replicating its long running awards in Ireland. Since then, the numbers of venues and attractions achieving a higher than 90% satisfaction rating in the UK has grown from 32 to 59.

This award ceremony was held at Edinburgh Castle on Tuesday 19th April.

Elizabeth Crabill, Managing Director of CIE Tours International commented: “We anticipate that demand for our UK tours will grow considerably this year, demonstrating the significance and growing appeal of Britain’s heritage to visitors.”

“Our Awards are well recognised and hugely respected in Ireland,” continued Elizabeth Crabill, “and it is gratifying to see that the same has happened so quickly in the UK. The increase in the number of awards reflects how providers have embraced our quality focus and that overall quality levels are increasing, which is great for our customers and the overall industry. Our visitors from North America are accustomed to very high levels of service in hospitality and to achieve an above 90% rating from them is very meaningful.”

CIE Tours brought 12,000 visitors to the UK in 2015, accounting for 100,000 bed nights. The company is working with 200 tourism partners across the Country.
Margo Baird, Marketing Manager from Scone Palace, commented:

“As a five star visitor attraction, we are delighted to have been recognised for customer satisfaction. We are proud to be able to offer an exceptional and memorable experience to visitors as one of Scotland’s most popular and historic visitor attractions. This is particularly special as we enter our 50th year as a visitor attraction.”

First opening to the public in 1966, Scone Palace is celebrating this 50th anniversary year by offering all visitors throughout 2016 the opportunity to upgrade their Palace and Grounds Entrance Ticket to a Palace and Grounds Season Ticket at no extra charge, meaning visitors can enjoy unlimited entry throughout the season, from March 25th-October 31st, 2016.

To find out more about Scone Palace visit www.scone-palace.co.uk

Scone Palace works with local businesses to bring a fresh look to their coffee shop

Visitors to Scone Palace can savour a scone in style as the top visitor attraction has completed a refurbishment of their popular coffee shop.  Once the Servants’ Hall, the coffee shop has refreshed its look after the Palace brought in specialist painters and decorators to create a brighter environment for visitors to enjoy whilst showcasing the new visual panels depicting the provenance story of ingredients used in the Palace kitchens and coffee shop. 2015 saw Scone awarded VisitScotland’s esteemed Taste Our Best award, a quality assurance scheme which celebrates the very best in locally sourced Scottish produce.

The crowning place of Scottish Kings worked closely with an expert group of quality Scottish suppliers to complete the renovations, including Britain’s oldest independent paint manufacturer, Craig & Rose, general building and civil engineering company, Marshall Construction and Service Graphics who are the UK’s largest visual solutions service provider.

The fresh new look has been done to tie-in with a year of celebrations, as Scone Palace marks 50 years since it first opened their doors to the public to become a visitor attraction in the Spring of 1966. Since then, Scone Palace has welcomed millions of visitors from all over the world in the last half a century.

Scone Palace also commissioned local PR and marketing company, Volpa, to design the vibrant new wall panels which tell the story of the fresh food available in the coffee shop, from being sown and grown in the Palace’s Kitchen Garden, to being prepared and served to visitors.

Sarah Butler, Chief Executive at Scone Palace, commented:

“The renovations to the Palace coffee shop have been an effective collaboration between all of the different suppliers, both locally and national, and it has been fantastic to see all the elements come together. We are delighted with the end result. Each company has helped to create a fresh and vibrant new look to our coffee shop without losing the heritage and charm.”

Craig & Rose has been creating paints for stately homes all over the UK for 187 years and has likely been providing their services to Scone Palace since the 18th century. Famous for providing the paint for the Forth Rail Bridge for over 100 years, Dunfermline–based Craig & Rose are no strangers to creating paints that reflect period in history. Stephen Percy-Robb, Managing Director of Craig & Rose, explained:

“The paint we produce for Scone Palace is very different from the paint product we all know and use in many of our own homes today. We produced approximately 50 litres of paint for the renovation work in the coffee shop. The colour is called Pale Mortlake which is a cream shade that was used in the Renaissance period. Our business has being running for nearly two centuries, but many stately homes including Scone Palace are much, much older than ourselves and we are very proud to be able to help retain the heritage of these homes using traditional methods.”

Glasgow-based Service Graphics provided the new wall panels in the coffee shop.  Hamish Hood, Senior Sales Consultant at Service Graphics, commented:

“Similar to Scone Palace, we have been offering our services and expertise for 50 years. We have thoroughly enjoyed working with Scone Palace on their coffee shop project. Having worked with Scone Palace on various projects since 2002, it is always a pleasure to provide visual solutions, such as these vibrant new wall panels, for such an iconic visitor attraction. Service Graphics crosses many different sectors including signage and interior graphics for stately homes like Scone Palace. We hope Scone Palace are as pleased with the end result as we are.”

While Craig & Rose supplied the hand-made paint, Marshall Construction carried out the decorative work in the coffee shop and have also been working on some refurbishments in the residential areas of the Palace. Gareth Bland, Business Development Manager at Marshall Construction, said:

“Marshall Construction has worked with Scone Palace for a number of years having gained significant expertise working in historic buildings throughout Scotland. We have worked on several projects around the Palace in recent years including refurbishment work to the second floor creating the five-star Balvaird Apartment. We are currently working on more refurbishments across residential areas of the Palace as well as the redecoration of the coffee shop. We take immense pride in being given the opportunity to work in such an old and iconic stately home and look forward to building on our long term collaborative relationship with Scone Palace.”

First opening to the public in 1966, Scone Palace is celebrating this 50th anniversary year by offering all visitors throughout 2016 the opportunity to upgrade their Palace and Grounds Entrance Ticket to a Palace and Grounds Season Ticket at no extra charge, meaning visitors can enjoy unlimited entry throughout the season, from March 25th – October 31st, 2016.

To find out more about Scone Palace visit www.scone-palace.co.uk