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TITLE
A Pictish House
EXTERNAL ID
QZP40_351_P339
DATE OF IMAGE
1776
PERIOD
800s
SOURCE
Highland Libraries
ASSET ID
31177
KEYWORDS
Picts
houses
dwellings
stones
A Pictish House

This illustration, taken from 'A Tour in Scotland' (1776) by Thomas Pennant, is titled 'A Pictish House'.

Many Pictish dwellings are found in Caithness, Sutherland and Orkney.
The houses were round and made of stone. There was no mortar of any kind used and the stones were laid together well. The walls were about 14ft thick and 12ft high. The main room was about 22ft in diameter with small rooms in the walls for sleeping. The roof had an opening at the top for ventilation and light.

The following description is from Elizabeth Sutherland's book, 'A Guide to the Pictish Stones' (1997).

'The Pictish nation emerged from a collection of warrior Celtic tribes who, centuries BC, had emigrated from Europe into Northern Britain. They first came into documented history as a nation in AD 297 when a Roman writer, Eumenius, wrote that the Britons were accustomed only to fighting 'their half-naked enemies - the Picts and the Irish'. Thus they became a historical people at that point with a collective name and they remained a united nation until about AD 840 when the Irish Scot, Kenneth Mac Alpin defeated them, and the land of the Picts became known as Scotland.

They probably got their name 'Painted ones' from the Roman soldiers who patrolled the Antonine wall and had to deal with them face-to-face. The Irish called them Cruithni which translates as 'people of the designs'. It is almost certain that they tattooed or painted their faces and bodies. What they called themselves is not known.'

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A Pictish House

800s

Picts; houses; dwellings; stones

Highland Libraries

Fraser Mackintosh Collection (illustrations)

This illustration, taken from 'A Tour in Scotland' (1776) by Thomas Pennant, is titled 'A Pictish House'. <br /> <br /> Many Pictish dwellings are found in Caithness, Sutherland and Orkney. <br /> The houses were round and made of stone. There was no mortar of any kind used and the stones were laid together well. The walls were about 14ft thick and 12ft high. The main room was about 22ft in diameter with small rooms in the walls for sleeping. The roof had an opening at the top for ventilation and light.<br /> <br /> The following description is from Elizabeth Sutherland's book, 'A Guide to the Pictish Stones' (1997).<br /> <br /> 'The Pictish nation emerged from a collection of warrior Celtic tribes who, centuries BC, had emigrated from Europe into Northern Britain. They first came into documented history as a nation in AD 297 when a Roman writer, Eumenius, wrote that the Britons were accustomed only to fighting 'their half-naked enemies - the Picts and the Irish'. Thus they became a historical people at that point with a collective name and they remained a united nation until about AD 840 when the Irish Scot, Kenneth Mac Alpin defeated them, and the land of the Picts became known as Scotland. <br /> <br /> They probably got their name 'Painted ones' from the Roman soldiers who patrolled the Antonine wall and had to deal with them face-to-face. The Irish called them Cruithni which translates as 'people of the designs'. It is almost certain that they tattooed or painted their faces and bodies. What they called themselves is not known.'