The oldest crown jewels - The Honours of Scotland
Updated: Jul 18
Edinburgh Castle is home to the oldest crown jewels in Britain, The Honours of Scotland. These jewels include a crown, sceptre, and sword. The crown in particular is incredibly beautiful, composed of silver and gold work, and featuring many stones that we admire, particularly Scottish freshwater pearls and gemstones such as garnets and amethysts.
These jewels were so beloved and treasured, that when threatened by the republican Oliver Cromwell in the seventeenth century, they were hidden to prevent them being melted down and sold. They were first hidden in Dunnottar Castle near Stonehaven, and then underneath the floor of Kinneff Church. Following the Union of 1707, they were locked away in the Castle’s Crown Room and forgotten about – presumed to be lost – for over 100 years. However, in 1818, following rumours and whispers of the location of the jewels, Sir Walter Scott – beloved Scottish novelist – requested a search of the Crown Room in an effort to locate them. Scott entered and found an old chest which contained the Honours of Scotland, which have resided in the Castle ever since, bringing in tourists from far and wide.
The Edinburgh Castle opened its doors to tourists and visitors in 1819 and became a tourist destination largely due to the display of the Crown Jewels. We think this is a fantastic tale about people’s long fascination with jewellery and precious stones!
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