It had stood for centuries as an imposing entrance to one of Britain’s finest abbeys, where a succession of Scottish monarchs were crowned.
But 500 years of history were wiped out in an instant yesterday when a delivery lorry smashed into the 16th-century archway at Scone Palace and reduced it to rubble.
The arch was all that remained of the ancient approach to the Augustinian Abbey that once housed the Stone of Destiny.
The force of the impact obliterated an ancient carved crest and sent masonry flying across the palace grounds.
It is understood the van was being driven by a contractor picking up a marquee used for the Perth Hunt Ball.