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Lost and found: palace of Robert the Bruce

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Kara Sundstrom
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« on: February 23, 2009, 02:43:09 am »

Lost and found: palace of Robert the Bruce

Paul Kelbie The Observer, Sunday 22 February 2009 Article historyHistorians and archaeologists claim to have found the remains of King Robert the Bruce's palace, lost for more than 700 years.

The discovery is being hailed as one of the most important in decades as it pinpoints the location of a monument many believe is as important to Scotland's history as Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace.

Beneath the Pillanflatt in Renton, in a run-down area of West Dunbartonshire, historians claim to have found a number of artefacts and foundations matching descriptions in ancient documents about the location of the king's home.

Sections of masonry, plasterwork and mortar have been sent to the Scottish Lime Centre, where tests confirmed that the stone dates from the 14th century and is of a type used in the construction of a cathedral or chapel. "The 1362 charter states that Robert the Bruce resided between Kings Park of Cardross and the lands of Pillanflatt, bounding the lands of Dalquhurn," said historian Stuart Smith, who has studied the Bruce family for 35 years.

The foundations were uncovered when a building company began digging the field as part of preparations for the construction of 300 houses.

The buildings on the Pillanflatt, which means "pavilion of the great hero" and is said to stretch from Dalquhurn to Dalreoch, are believed to include the king's manor house, which had a 100ft grand hall, a queen's quarter and a chapel.

"We knew that Pillanflatt was where the king lived," said Duncan Thomson, chairman of the Strathleven Artizans, a group set up to promote the area's links with Robert the Bruce. "Before we found the foundations, we had to guess where the king's house was."

Robert the Bruce is known to have lived in Renton from 1326 until his death in 1329. His organs were buried in Levengrove Park in Dumbarton.

The group behind the discovery is now awaiting the result of tests to determine exact dates and details, so that they can petition Historic Scotland to designate the area as a site of special historic interest. Thomson said: "He was such an important figure that this site deserves to be recognised as a place of importance in the same way as Stirling Castle or the field of Bannockburn."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2009/feb/22/robert-the-bruce-palace-remains
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