On Christmas Day, December 25, 1950, four young Scots retrieved the Stone of Destiny from Westminster Abbey.
Used as the coronation stone of the Scottish kings from the 10th century, and supposedly a relic from biblical times, the stone was taken to Westminster Abbey, England by Edward I as a symbol of his overlordship.
In the early hours of this day in 1950, four students from Glasgow University broke into Westminster Abbey and removed the stone, accidentally breaking it in two. The stone was subsequently repaired by a Glasgow stonemason before being hidden in a tractor repair shed a Firemore, north of Inverasdale in Wester Ross.
It remained hidden until they placed it in Arbroath Abbey in April 1951, where it was discovered and returned to England.
In 1996 the stone was placed in Edinburgh Castle amid much ceremony on St. Andrew’s Day.
Rumors persist about the Stone of Destiny. Some say that monks at Scone Abbey switched the stone and that what Edward I took to England was not the real Stone of Destiny.
Others claim that those who stole the stone on Christmas Day 1950 switched the stone, and that what was returned on April 1951 was not the original: which was instead hidden in a peat bank in Wester Ross.
The Stone of Destiny’s size is about 26 inches (660 mm) by 16.75 inches (425 mm) by 10.5 inches (270 mm) and its weight is approximately 336 pounds (152 kg).