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LIST OF PLATES
Public Rooms, Aberdeen
WONDERS OF SCOTLAND.
THE early history of Scotland being so much involved in obscurity, and so much controversy having taken place amongst the learned and unlearned, respecting the origin of the inhabitants ; and the questions which have been agitated, being still nearly as far from being settled as ever, it is not to be supposed that, in a work like the present, the author should enter the arena of strife, and attempt to determine, where so many have failed of producing conviction.
Under the head of British Antiquities, he classes such as appear to him to have existed prior to the Romans arriving in the island. Under the head Roman Antiquities, such as appear to owe their origin to that great people ; and under the head of Pictish Antiquities, objects of very remote origin, not included under the two preceding heads. But in making this arrangement, the object is not to fix chronological eras, but to describe the more interesting wonders as they now exist,
FORT NEAR THE TWEED. This is an ancient fort, which occupies the crest of an eminence, near the junctions of the rivers Tweed and Ettricke. It is one of the most perfect works of the ancient Britons. Their usual mode of fortification was with ditches, single or double, occupying the angles of the eminences, which were naturally selected for their site, and being of course irregular in their form. The earth was thrown up so as to form a glacis to the outside, and was sometimes faced with stones, in order to add to its height, and increase the acclivity. This formed the rampart of the place, and the gates, generally two or three in number, were placed where access was most convenient. Such is the fortress we are describing. Though in the neighbourhood of higher hills, it is too far distant to be commanded by them in a military sense. There are two ramparts, the first of earth and loose stones, but the interior consists of immense blocks of stone, disposed so as to form a rude wall, and faced with earth and turf within. The permanence of these massive materials, seems to have insured that of the building, for they defy all ordinary efforts of the agriculturist. "The fortress has two gates, one to the east, and the other to the west, with something like traverses for protecting and defending the approach. This remarkable fortress is surrounded by others of less consequence, serving as out-posts, and it has evidently been a hill-fort of great importance to the ancient inhabitants.