|I called in at Tealing on my way up to Aberdeen. I was hoping to have a good nosey around the general area but unfortunately a number of factors conspired to ensure that I arrived at Tealing just as the sun was going down. There is a parking space opposite the farmyard and the earth house is just a small walk away.
What prompted me to visit the Tealing Earth House was the inclusion of two carved rocks in the fabric of the structure. The pair of carved rocks are lovely, the cup and ring carved rock is built into the wall of the structure, the cup marked rock is embedded into the turf that is enclosed within the arc of the structure. The inclusion of these stones couldn't really be anything but a deliberate act, perhaps as a 'nod to the ancestors'.
Earth Houses, Souterrains, Weems, Fogous, call 'em what you like, these are strange structures. We are told that they are possibly defensive structures or storehouses. Personally speaking, I feel that these structures had to be used for more than the usual explanations. The design and care taken in their construction implies that their uses ran to more than Iron Age storerooms or bolt holes. The limited geographical distribution, throughout our islands, of these structures also may imply that they may have had a specific meaning to a specific community. Truth is no-one knows.
The inclusion of the carved stones in the fabric of the building is not unique to Tealing, there are carved stones in the walls of the nearby Mains of Ardestine Earth House and there is a cup marked stone in the Aberdeenshire Souterrain at Clush.
The reuse of carved stones has a long tradition in our islands and abroad, an unbroken lineage from the Neolithic to the present day.
Tealing is a lovely site. The short walk from the parking space involves a low stile, a muddy field path and a kissing gate so may not be suitable for all.
Posted by fitzcoraldo
2nd December 2006ce
Edited 2nd December 2006ce