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article imageVan accidentally destroys 16th-century archway of Scottish castle

By Laura Trowbridge     Sep 30, 2010 in World
An archway that has been standing for over 400 years on the grounds of Scotland's Scone Palace was destroyed this week when a contractor's van smashed into it.
The archway at Scone Palace, which Scottish kings were known to pass under, was the oldest structure on the palace grounds. On Monday, the archway came tumbling down into a pile of rubble after a van miscalculated the height and smashed into it.
According to The Courier, the archway was the only thing remaining from the time when an Augustinian Abbey, built around 1590, used to stand on the grounds of Scone Palace.
Valerie Stuart, manager of the company the van's driver worked for, said the contractor was an experienced driver for them and was picking up a marquee that had been used at an event at the castle over the weekend.
"He was driving the van and drove through the arch and it was a bit smaller than the van," Stuart said. "He was watching the sides of the arch and hadn't appreciated the height.
"He's one of our experienced drivers and is a careful employee. It's not what he expected at all. He is extremely shocked and upset, as we all are."
In a report by The Scotsman, "Scone Palace is one of the most important buildings in Scotland. A Category A listed building, the palace was first built in the 1600s. It was rebuilt in 1808 for the Earls of Mansfield by William Atkinson".
Scone Palace now belongs to William David Murray, 8th Earl of Mansfield, and his family, according to Sky News.
Suzanne Urquhart, chief executive at Mansfield Estates, said: "We are currently taking advice from Historic Scotland and have arranged for conservation architects to examine what remains of the archway as soon as is practical, with a view to undertaking a reconstruction project in the longer term.
"Clearly we are devastated that such a priceless monument and important piece of Scottish history has been destroyed in this manner. However we are thankful that neither the driver nor any member of the public was injured."
In a video from stv, a reporter said there is hope for the archway to be rebuilt using its own ancient rubble. Each piece of salvageable rubble, large and small, will be collected and numbered in hopes of reconstructing the historic arch.
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