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Ancient archway demolished by van

Architects were assessing the damage to an ancient palace archway today after it was accidentally demolished by a van.

The “priceless” 16th-century monument marked the approach to an Augustinian abbey which once stood in the grounds of Scone Palace in Perthshire.

It was struck by a van driven by contractors who were picking up a marquee, palace officials said.

The damage was said to be “fairly extensive”, with the top of the archway having come down and some damage caused to heraldic emblems on the stonework.

Perth and Kinross Council’s conservation team, and experts attached to the palace, were assessing the situation today.

A spokewoman for Scone Palace said: “There are conservation architects on site and they’ll be doing initial assessments of the damage. Basically we’ll be guided by them as to what happens next.”

She said the aim was for the archway to be rebuilt, although it would depend on the results of surveys to be carried out.

The spokeswoman said: “We’re at the very early stages. The key priority is making the archway absolutely safe to ensure there’s no further damage done.

“Clearly if it can be rebuilt, it will be.”

She said if the archway were to be rebuilt it would be a long term project involving highly specialised work.

Historic Scotland said it was happy to offer any help if needed, but it was not actively involved in today’s assessments.

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