Fians, Fairies and Picts eBook

David MacRitchie
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 57 pages of information about Fians, Fairies and Picts.
“An ancient dwelling, semi-subterranean, exists at Nisibost, Harris [and is described in vol. iii. of the Proceedings, p. 140]....  A still finer example exists near to Meall na h-Uamh, in South Uist....  The bo’h, or Pict’s house, as it would be called in the Orkneys—­but the name is unknown in the Long Island—­that I am about to describe lies less than half a mile above the shepherd’s house; but so little curiosity had that individual that he was entirely unacquainted with it; and I believe it would never have been found by us but for a little terrier (in its etymological sense, of course) of a daughter.  The child was only acquainted with the two here drawn [of which the other—­viz., Uamh Sgalabhad, is here reproduced as Plate I., frontispiece]; but there may be many more waiting the researches of the zealous antiquary.” (Captain Thomas, op. cit., p. 165.)

[Illustration:  PLATE XIII.

GROUND PLAN AND ENTRANCE OF UNDERGROUND GALLERY AT PAIBLE, TARANSAY, HARRIS.

“The drawing is from a photograph of the entrance, which is 2 feet 10 inches high and 1-1/2 foot broad.  The sea flows up to it at high tides.”]

PLATE XIII.—­Underground Gallery at Paible, Taransay, Harris.

(From Plate XXIX. of Vol.  VII. of Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, First Series.)

Describing this earth-house, Captain Thomas says:—­“The drawing is from a photograph of the entrance, which is 2 feet 10 inches high and 1-1/2 foot broad.  The sea flows up to it at high tides.  On crawling in, there is seen the usual guard-cell (b), close beside the entrance, but so small that we may be sure the sentinel, if there was one, must have been a light weight; in fact, we are almost driven to the conclusion that there were no Bantings in those days.  This guard-cell is but 2 feet 5 inches high, and 3 feet in width.  The gallery then turns at a right angle to the left hand.  We excavated it for 22 feet....  When digging, we came upon two broken stone dishes (corn-crushers?) now in the Museum [Society of Antiquaries of Scotland]; and above the gallery were most of the bones of a small ox, placed orderly together....  Bones of the seal were common, and a few of the eagle.” (Op. cit., p. 169.)

[Illustration:  PLATE XIV.

MAES-HOW, ORKNEY.]

[Illustration:  PLATE XV.

INTERIOR OF MAES-HOW, ORKNEY

(Facing inner doorway of gallery).

Cell or Bed in Wall.]

[Illustration:  PLATE XVI.

SECTIONAL VIEW AND GROUND PLAN OF MAES-HOW.]

PLATES XIV., XV., AND XVI.—­Maes-How, Orkney.

These plates represent the “Pict’s house” referred to by Captain Thomas (pp. 50-51, ante), with regard to which he says:—­“Maes howe was for three families—­grandees, no doubt; but the numbers it was intended to hold in the beds may be learned by comparing them with the Amazon’s House, St. Kilda.”

Copyrights
Project Gutenberg
Fians, Fairies and Picts from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook