Parliament guides 'are peddling Masonic myths'
Mon 29 May 2006
SCOTTISH Parliament guides have been criticised for peddling myths about a historic "Masonic" stone at the Holyrood building.
East Lothian Labour MSP John Home Robertson was shocked to hear visitors to Holyrood being told a lintel stone from the old Scottish Parliament, now displayed in the new building, was a Masonic symbol. And now he wants a notice placed close to the 400-year-old stone to explain its real history and significance.
The lintel was removed from Parliament House, now the High Court, when it was refurbished in the 19th century. The stone was salvaged by senior judge Lord Dundas, who took it to his home, Arniston House, near Gorebridge, Mildothian. And it was gifted to the parliament in 2003 by the present owner of the house, Althea Dundas-Bekker.
Mr Robertson, who headed the Holyrood progress group and played a key role in securing the stone for the parliament, said he was astonished no explanatory notice had been put up at the start. "I have listened to the most extraordinary stories being told - including that it was a Masonic symbol. There ought to be something to tell people what the stone really is."
A spokeswoman for the Scottish Tourist Guides Association, which runs the official tours of the parliament, said:
"I would be annoyed if one of our guides was giving out that kind of information."