Page images

it is always caught and held by two of the three groups of ridges referred to. This is well shown in the accompanying photograph (see fig. 1).

This feature of groups of finger-prints around the base of a jug is not


Fig. 1. Earthenware Jug found at Forfar.

unknown. Several jugs, but with flat bottoms exhibiting groups of finger-prints, are preserved in the Guildhall Museum, London, and are illustrated in the catalogue. The Guildhall examples may possibly be regarded as more recent types, interesting as exemplifying a survival of a practice which, but for the discovery of this Forfar jug, might have been regarded as purely ornamental.

1 Guildhall Museum Catalogue, Plate LXVI., Nos. 8 and 9, LXVII., 9; pp. 178, 63; 180, 109; 180, 104.



The Guildhall flat-bottomed jugs with finger-pressed bases are ascribed to the fourteenth century. In the Guide to English pottery in the British Museum, there is a jug illustrated similar to one shown in the Louterell Psalter of early fourteenth century. It has a slightly convex base, with the edges thumbed down to form a series of supports which counteract the rotundity of the base.

The photograph by Mr David Barnet, Science and Art Master, Forfar, was obligingly procured for me by Mr John Knox, The Schoolhouse, Forfar, to illustrate this paper.


Since writing the note which appeared in last year's Proceedings (see Proc., xxxix. pp. 387-393), I have learned of yet another instance of the practice in Dundee. The house, a building of three storeys, still stands at the east end of Castle Lane, fronting to a narrow wynd, which turns off abruptly to the south, anciently known as "The Gote," or "Goat Wynd." In the south gable of this building, in the course of its being repointed, two jugs were recently discovered and removed. They were placed "high up" between the windows, and with their orifices flush. with the external surface of the wall, as already described for all the other examples noted; but one of the jugs is the largest of all the specimens yet observed. It was broken when discovered, and broken still more in removal, so that its height cannot be ascertained, but it measures 9 inches in diameter at the widest part, 4 inches across the base, and in its broken state 10 inches in height. It has at one side the base of a handle, marked with double depressions as of the thumbs of the maker. Assuming this handle to have been of the bow form, like that of the other jugs noted, this specimen had been at least 12 inches in height.

The previously noted Dundee examples averaged 5 to 6 inches, while those found at Innernethy were 9 to 10 inches high.

The destruction

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

of the neck is much to be regretted, as from a small fragment left it appears to have been richly ornamented, as shown by a ring of festoonlike scollops, partly indented and partly raised, with alternately moulded bands encircling it.

No evidence is available as to when this building was erected, but there is no reason to ascribe it to a time more remote than the beginning of the eighteenth century, in which case it would be the latest example. of the jug practice, which I had ascribed to the hundred years from 1580 to 1680, a period which I have supposed to be covered by the other examples noted.



The Largo Field Naturalists' Society were searching in the East Cairn Park, on the farm of Ardross, near Elie, Fife, when, on the 27th March 1878, Mr John Luke discovered an Earth-house, but at a point east of that indicated by local tradition. Reference was made to the discovery at the time in the local newspaper, and in the Society's Proceedings, vol. xii. p. 626, in a communication by Mr Charles Howie, Secretary of the Largo Field Naturalists' Society. A plan was made in the following August by Mr Boothby of Kirkcaldy.

The field was being ploughed on the 2nd March last, when one of the roof-stones of an earth-house was acidentally discovered. The building was examined on the 5th March. When compared with Mr Boothby's plan in the possession of Mr Jamieson, Mr Baird's factor, it was found that this was the same structure as that discovered in 1878.

As no plan accompanied the original notice in the Society's Proceedings, it may be of interest now to complete the record by the plan (fig. 1) and description here given.

The site of the structure is near the summit of the rising ground, about a quarter of a mile north of the farm of Ardross. It commands a

wide view. The entrance is on the east side. The floor of the passage is reached by a stair of ten well-constructed steps leading downwards. Unfortunately the walls and ceiling at this part have been destroyed, and The height it is impossible to determine the character of the entrance.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

Fig. 1.

of the ceiling of the passage is 4 feet 2 inches, measuring from the top of the lowest step. The floor is of compact sand. The walls are constructed without mortar, of small undressed fragments of local sandstone, roofed over with slabs of the same material. The passage is about 2 feet 6 inches wide, and about 4 feet high. Two jambs, 3 inches

thick, project from the walls some distance from the entrance, narrowing

the passage-way to 1 foot 10 inches. The stones are 2 feet 6 inches and 2 feet 9 inches high, and they rest upon a sill-stone 12 inches broad. There is a small recess or pocket in the wall, 10 inches west of the south jamb. Its edges have been worn smooth. The ceiling is reduced to 3 feet 6 inches in height, at a point 2 feet east of the jambstones. The total length of the passage is about 60 feet. The chamber at the west end is 12 feet 8 inches long, 7 feet 2 inches broad, and 5 feet 9 inches high. The level of the floor is three steps lower than the level of the passage. The walls lean towards each other, so that at the ceiling they are only 5 feet 6 inches apart. The roofing stones are 7 inches thick.

A carefully tooled stone was discovered in the east wall of the passage near the ceiling, and about 8 feet from the north angle before the passage turns westward to the chamber. It is 6 inches square, smooth on the surface, but marked by thin concentric lines. There is a circular hollow in the centre, 3 inches in diameter, and 14 inches deep.

A broken and irregular block of whinstone was found detached in the débris at the entrance staircase. It is 2 feet 2 inches long, 81 inches thick, and is now 14 inches in breadth. There is a socket-hole 14 inches in diameter and 2 inches deep about 24 inches from the broken. edge, and nearly equidistant from the other three sides. The surface is not perfectly level, but slopes downward a quarter of an inch all round from the level of the socket-hole. The surface is marked by concentric scratchings caused by some circular grinding action.

There is some reason to believe that local tradition is well founded, and that there are other early structures in this East Cairn Park to the west of the Earth-house now described. Mr Berwick, of Ardross Farm, has marked the site of a group of stones under the surface of the field, which may be investigated after harvest.

« PreviousContinue »