Dallas Stone of Destiny!

Dallas Stone of Destiny!
Dallas Stone of Destiny!

A replica of the Stone of Destiny is set to be flown to Dallas in honour of the academic contribution made by Professor Nowell, originally from Montrose.

It’s the stone that was used to inaugurate the ancient kings of Scotland until it was stolen by an invading English army in mediaeval times.

Rumours have circulated ever since as to whether King Edward I was duped and mistakenly carted off a fake Stone of Destiny from its original home in Scone to Westminster Abbey in 1296.

Now an identical copy has been discovered in a farm near Denny - but this particular block of sandstone is most definitely not the real thing.

It’s the work of quarryman David Graham and his son Bob, who were commissioned to carve a replica by an American university looking for a suitable way to mark the retiral of its Scots-born principal.

“It’s the most unusual work I’ve done,” said David (67), who owns the re-opened Drumhead Quarry in Denny, Falkirk.

“I was familiar with the story of the stone, but I still had to carry out a lot of research.

“I visited Edinburgh Castle to view the real thing, only to discover that you were not allowed to take pictures of it, so I had to settle for buying a guide book!”

The stone, which weighs three hundredweight, will be flown to the Texas Christian University in Fort Worth.

There it will be installed in the university campus as a permanent honour to the academic contribution made by Professor Nowell Donovan, originally from Montrose, who has taught in Texas since 1986.

Donovan, a geologist, became the university’s provost in 2004.

The Denny and Bonnybridge area already has a unique place in the long history of the Stone of Destiny.

In 1950, Glasgow University students seized it from Westminster Abbey and brought it back to Scotland. During the massive police hunt to retrieve it, the stone was hidden in a variety of places - including Bonnybridge.

It was eventually found in Arbroath and taken back to London before being moved to Edinburgh Castle in 1996.

It’s not the first historical commission that Graham has received.

In 2010, Drumhead Quarry supplied sandstone used to repair a statue of Robert Burns in Australia after it was identified by experts as being the closest match to the original material used.