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NOTICE OF THE DISCOVERY OF A STONE CIST, CONTAINING AN
UNBURNT BURIAL AND AN URN OF THE DRINKING-CUP TYPE,
During the month of June 1904, while excavating to make a new road, prior to the erection of new buildings at Wellgrove, Lochee, near Dundee, a stone cist was discovered, containing unburnt bones and an urn of the drinking-cup type. As comparatively few discoveries of the kind have been made in this district of recent times, it may be of im. portance to place the particulars on record.
Wellgrove is a district to the south-west of Lochee, in the combined parishes of Liff and Benvie, distant some three miles from the Town Hall of Dundee, and quite close to Lochee West Station on the Caledonian Railway line between Dundee and Blairgowrie.
During the afternoon of 8th June, while workmen were engaged levelling down a grassy knoll in a meadow at a point 27 yards to the north from the centre of the South Road, they struck upon the lid or covering of a stone cist, 21 feet from the surface. Mr Charles Johnstone, who had the work in hand, was absent at the time of the discovery, whereupon the digging was discontinued at that point until instructions should be given as to how to proceed with the unearthing of the cist. At an early hour the following morning the lid of the cist was removed, which was found to be made up of three grey slabs of irregular form, varying from 1 inch to 24 inches in thickness, with no markings of any kind, and measured roughly 54 feet by 3 feet.
The depth from the surface to the bottom of the cist measured 5 feet, the soil being a shallow seam of black loam, then red and yellow sand above the rock, which is the Old Red Sandstone, splintered and much decayed.
The cist itself was formed of seven rude, undressed slabs of grey
whinstone, 2 inches thick. It lay due east and west, and measured 3 feet 10 inches long by 2 feet broad and 21 feet deep, and was partly filled with a fine red sand similar to the soil around it. The stones were laid aside for some days, and ultimately broken up by the workmen to make a road bed.
The cist was by no means air- or water-tight; the large bones found
very much decayed, and crumbled down when touched. There
no appearance of a skull, but the jawbone was noticed to contain seven teeth. Only one of these teeth has been preserved.
It is an upper bicuspid, not very much worn, and probably belonged to a young
The urn (fig. 1) is of red burnt clay, 7 inch thick, fairly regular in form
Well fired; in its present broken condition it measures 61 inches high by 54 inches wide. When first discovered it was intact and filled with
finely-powdered red sand, and had at least measured 71 or 8 inches high. In their haste to ascertain the contents, the urn was handed from one workman to another, who surmised it to contain coins or other treasure, and when being emptied it was accidentally let fall to the ground and broken, the bottom being so much destroyed that it was found impossible to piece it together. The broken parts, being very much splintered, were unfortunately not preserved.
The meadow through which the new road was made, and where the cist was discovered, has for 75 yards a sloping decline from south to north, where it meets the level, and extends for some distance north as pasture. The highest point of the meadow reaches the same level as the South Road, where for 32 yards it is continued east and west, at which distance from the new road it is cut by a stone wall, and presently forms the kitchen gardens to four cottages. This new road has opened up a serviceable thoroughfare between the South Road on the south, and Liff Road on the north, and since then has been named Wellburn Street.
Mr Charles Johnstone, contractor, Lochee, who retained possession of the urn since its discovery, has expressed a desire that it should be presented to the Museum, and on his behalf I have now the pleasure of making the presentation.
NOTICE OF A MAHOGANY PITCHPIPE FORMERLY USED IN CULTS
PARISH CHURCH, FIFE. BY GEORGE LEITCH, M. A., CULTS SCHOOLHOUSE, LADYBANK.
This quaint instrument of music is an important relic of Scottish Church psalmody. It is of considerable age, and until recently was the property of a Pitlessie octogenarian, Mr James Speed, who bought it about the year 1845, at the sale of the goods and chattels of the Parish Church precentor. At that time there was a keen competition amongst the various Fife leaders of psalmody for the possession of what even then was considered an interesting memento of the past.
Fig. 1. Mahogany Pitchpipe formerly used in Cults Parish Church, Fife.
The instrument was shown to several monagenarians, and one -Mr William Arthur of Monimail-pronounced it to be an old-fashioned pitch pipe, used at Cults, over a hundred years ago, to regulate the pitch or leading tone of the tune.
“In the Auld Kirk, in my younger days,” said Mr Arthur,“ there was neither choir nor organ.
The musical service then was not a kind of performance or concert. On William Durie—the old precentorsounding the keynote from his whistle, immediately all the people joined in, and, keeping time to the evolutions of the pitchpipe, they sang together with great sound and evident pleasure.”
The sterner spirits, however, regarded the use of this instrument in the house of God with great abhorrence. Sir Walter Scott tells that, on his first interview with "Old Mortality,” he found that the spirit of the sturdy Covenanter had been sorely vexed by hearing in a certain
kirk the psalmody directed by a pitchpipe, which to him was the abomination of abominations.
The pitch pipe now presented to the Museum (fig. 1) is made of mahogany, and, considering its age, is in excellent preservation. It consists of a long stopped diapason pipe, fitted with a movable graduated stopper, adjustable to any note of the scale. By pushing the stopper inwards, or pulling it outwards, an adept could play a tune: only, the tone being somewhat strident and coercive, it is better adapted as a prelude to the singing of the Psalms in the house of God. Directly attacking the nervous system, the shrill notes of the pitchpipe roused the sleepers when everything else had failed, and at the same time indicated the keynote to the congregation. The dimensions of the pitch pipe are as follows :Length of pipe.
133 inches. Length of stopper
113 Length extended
square. Length of scale.
5 on which the following notes are marked :
Mr Herbert Diggle, Cupar, a member of the Pianoforte Tuners' Association, tested the pitch of this unique instrument, and found that the note C
corresponded with the Society of Arts standard pitch, the vibrations of which are 530 per second. Mr Diggle regards the pitchpipe as a great curiosity, and said he had never before seen such an old-fashioned device.
Alongside the older and more formidable-looking instrument may be placed a specimen of Eardley's patent chromatic pitch pipe, which consists of a small reed pipe of the free species in which the length of the