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IN the art of castrametation, it has been shewn that the early Celts were by no means deficient. The state of society gave but little encouragement to the study of domestic architecture among these nations, and the simplicity of their lives did not require the conveniences afforded by this useful and ornamental science.

The little huts of the Gauls and the Britons were adapted to the wants of the people, but they were of too slight a construction to leave any very perceptible remains. The occupations of the pastoral life did not require the erection of permanent habitations: in perambulating a country, it is useless to bestow much labour on a building that must be soon abandoned. The freedom of a strolling life is congenial to untutored man. The Fenns, Tacitus says,



sheltered themselves with the branches of trees, preferring this rude and cheerless state of existence to the painful occupations of agriculture, of constructing houses, and the continual trouble of defending their property.

Cæsar describes Britain as abounding in houses. Dio says the Caledonians lived in tents, meaning the simple booth of wattles, thatched with rushes, of which Strabo gives a particular description. The houses of the Britons, says he, are of a round form, constructed of poles and wattled work, with very high pointed roofs, the beams uniting at top. Diodorus says, for the most part they were covered with reeds or straw, materials of which the Carthaginians formed their tents." We find that the houses of the Gauls and Britons were composed of wood, and the use of tiles and mortar being unknown, they were plastered with clay, or a sort of red earth, which was latterly procured in England. Vitruvius says, that in Gaul, Spain, and Lusitania, the houses were made of oak, shingles, and straw. Certain reeds were used in Gaul as a covering for the houses; and, if well put on, Pliny says this sort of roof would last for ages, and it had this valuable property besides, according to Aristotle, that it was not easily consumed by fire. A sort of stone was also applied to this purpose, and is at this day used under the name of Knappstein, or pierre de liais, on the continent. It is of a white colour, and is cut as easily as timber; and being sometimes very gaudy, the houses were called Pavonacea, from a supposed resemblance to peacocks' feathers.

Wood is a material so convenient for architectural purposes, that it has been much employed even where necessity did not compel its adoption. Throughout Britain and



Lib. xx. 3.

b Lib. ii. 1. c Hist. Nat. Tome xii. p. 66, 4to ed. 1782.

Ireland many considerable edifices have been reared of timber in periods comparatively recent. In the ninth century, the houses in the Highlands of Scotland were usually of wattle work, and the residences of the chiefs were frequently built in the same manner. We find one Gillescop, in 1228, burning many wooden castles in Moray. Strong bulwarks were often constructed of apparently slight materials. Gir. Cambrensis relates, that in the reign of Hen. I., Arnulph de Montgomery founded a castle at Pembroke, the rampart of which was formed of osiers and turf. The chief residence of the kings of Wales was called the white Palace, from its appearance, having been built of wands with the bark peeled off. A sort of wattle work, or combination of twigs or prepared wood and earth or clay, was a common mode of building among the Gaël, both of Albin and Erin, and was known as “the Scotish fashion.” Of this manner of building was that church erected in 652 by Finan, Bishop of Lindisfarne, composed wholly of sawn oak, covered with reeds. *

The Scots were, indeed, the first native architects who invented the method of squaring timber, and applying it to large and public edifices. In this way the first church at Iona was built, as well as numerous others, descriptions of which do not exist. In 1172, when St. Bernard describes a stone church in Ireland as a novelty, Henry II. was entertained at Dublin in a long wattle house, built, we are told, after the fashion of the country. William of Malmesbury speaks of a church in his time formed of rods


d Bede, Eccles. Hist. iii. c. 25.

e Pownall in Archæologia, ix. iii. * Up to the year 1746, Lochiel's residence at Achnacarry was a house curiously built of wattle work, said to have been both handsome and comfortable. It was burnt to the ground by the Government troops. The present castellated building is an exceedingly handsome and imposing structure. ED.

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or wicker, and a MS. in the British Museum says that the religious edifices were all at first formed “ex virgatis torquatis.”

Sir James Hall, in his learned and ingenious work on the origin of gothic architecture, which he believes is derived from the osier edifices, has shewn the progress of this beautiful style, and collected many curious facts, illustrative of the primitive manner of building, described by Bede as “in more Scotorum,” of which a curious specimen exists at this day in the church of Grenestede, in the county of Essex. One thousand oaks from the mountains formed the hall of Crothar, an Irish chief, but none of the houses of Fingal were of wood, it is said, except Tifiormal, the great hall, where the bards met annually to repeat their compositions. By some accident it was burnt; and an ancient poet has left a curious catalogue of its furniture.'

The Gaël have not relinquished the ancient mode of constructing houses. In many parts it is still common, but it is not so generally prevalent as formerly. Spelman, who lived in the middle of the sixteenth century, says wicker houses were the common habitations of the Irish. The Rapparee, in the time of King William III., lived in a hut, formed by means of a few branches of trees, one end being stuck in the ground, and the other resting on a mud wall or bank. The common people had also cabins, formed entirely of wattle work, with a coating of clay; and these rude hovels, which Sir W. Petty says could be built in three days, were held of the superior from May to May. In Jurah and other islands of the Hebudæ, the cottages are still chiefly constructed of these fragile materials, and in many parts of the mainland of Scotland the same manner is followed. It is found comfortable for dwelling houses,

Mac Pherson, note on Ossian.

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and is extremely well adapted for barns, and other edifices attached to farms.

The humble dwelling of the ancient tribes was called, in the British tongue, bod, or bwth, which signifies a cottage or dwelling. In Gaëlic, bothan is a cottage, and is particularly applied to the slight buildings raised for summer residence in the hills. These different Celtic words shew the origin of the English booth, and were applied to the simple dwelling which also received the names of tent and hut. The translators of Ossian render this word by different terms: The hunter shall hear from his booth,” “No hut receives me from the rain," &c.

If the residence of the Briton was on a plain, it was called Lann, from Lagen or Logan, an inclosed plain or low-lying place. If on an eminence, it was termed Dun, the origin of the Latin dunum, which terminates the names of so many Celtic towns. Durum indicated the position to be on the banks of a stream. Magus is apparently from magh, a plain, and Bona may be from boun, round.

Aiteach, a habitation, is derived from the Gaelic ait, a place, whence the Greek aldia, and the Latin aedes. Peillichd in Gaëlic, and peillic in Cornish, signify a hut made of earth and branches of trees. This term comes from feile, or peile, a skin or covering, which is the origin of the English fell, felt, and many others.f The Latin domus seems derived from domh, a dwelling.

It has been before observed that the roving life of the Celts did not require the erection of permanent habitations. The hill forts were known places of retreat in time of danger: on other occasions, the tribes formed their rude



* Bona rather seems to be from bān, fair, beautiful, Scottice bonnie. ED.

& Armstrong and Pryce. + From the Latin pellis, a skin, or hide. ED.

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