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Dubbing

feet, wall, tower, inches, circular, gallery, stones, flat and dun

DUBBING, in bricklaying, is replacing and making good any decayed brickwork, when the wall is to be repointed.

DUN, or BURGH, the name of an ancient species of buildings, of a circular form, common in the Orkney and Shetland Islands, the Hebrides, and northern parts of Scot land. The latter term points out the founders, who at the same time bestowed on them their natal name of bory, " defence or castle," a Suco-Gothie word ; and the Highlanders universally apply to these places the Celtic name dun, signify ing a hill defended by a tower, which plainly points out their use. They are confined to the countries once subject to the crown of Norway. With few exceptions, they are built within sight of the sea, and one or more within sight of the other ; so that on a signal by fire, by flag, or by trumpet, they could give notice of approaching danger, and yield a mutual succour. In the Shetland and Orkney islands, they are most frequently called wart or ward hills, which shows that they were garrisoned. They had their wardmadher, or watchman, a sort of sentinel, who stood on the top, and challenged all who came in sight. The gackman was an officer of the same kind, who not only was on the watch against surprise, but was to give notice if he saw any ships in distress. He was allowed a large horn of generous liquor, which he had always by him, to keep up his spirits. Along the Orkney and Shetland shores, they almost form a chain ; and by that means not only kept the natives in subjection, but were situated commodiously for covering the landing of their countrymen, who were perpetually roving on piratical expeditions. These towers were even made use of as state prisons ; for we learn from Torfieus, that after Sueno had surprised Paul, count of Caithness, he carried him into Sutherland, and confined him there in a Norwegian tower. Out of our own kingdom, no buildings similar to these are to be found, except in Scandinavia. On the mountain Swalberg in Norway is one ; the Stir-biskop, at Upsal in Sweden, is another ; and Umscborg, in the same kingdom, is a third.

In these buildings, there is no appearance of an arch ; the wall, which consists of the best flat stones the workmen could find, is well laid, is in thickness about 14 feet, and in some instances not more than 12 feet high ; the structure of a dun is upon a circular plan, about 20 or 30 feet in diameter. The door of entrance is very low, and was shut up occasion ally with a broad flat stone. in some instances, where the stones were not flat or well bedded, the wall is found propped up with heaps of stones, like buttresses, on the outside ; so as to give the whole more the appearance of a mount, than of a building, as is particularly the case with one at Loth beg, in the parish of Lothis. The most entire dun is that at Glenby, not far from Inverness, and described by Mr. Pen

nant, in his voyage to the Hebrides ; from whose very curious and original account, the following particulars are extracted :— " It is placed about two miles from the mouth of the valley. The more entire side is about thirty feet six inches in height, and was, some years ago, about ten feet higher. The whole structure appears to have been, on the outside, of a conical form ; but on the inside, the surround ing wall is quite perpendicular ; so that it must have been much thicker at the bottom than at the top. It enclosed a small circular area of thirty-three feet and a half in diameter ; and was constructed merely of flat stones neatly placed one upon another, without any cement or mortar. At ten feet from the ground it was found to be seven feet four inches thick ; and within this thickness were two surrounding galleries ; one quite in the lower part of the tower, about six feet two inches high, and two feet five inches wide at the bottom ; but made narrower at the top ; and flagged and covered with great flat stones. And the other gallery was • placed directly over this, having these flag-stones for its floor, and being only five feet six inches high, and only twenty inches wide at the bottom ; but covered at top, in like manner, with other great flat stones.

"This upper gallery, in which a man could barely make his way, went quite round the tower, without any division or partition ; but the lower gallery, underneath this, is parted off into separate spaces, by great flag-stones placed upright ; which several spaces, or little cells, were in general acces sible only by means of holes in the floor or gallery above ; so that nothing can be more obvious, than that these cells were intended for the keeping and preserving of stores ; whilst the upper gallery cannot but remind us somewhat of the little gallery within the wall of the round tower at Brunless.

" Besides these galleries, there were, on the inside of the circular wall, open to the circular enclosed apartment, four perpendicular rows of small cavities, or, as they have been described by others, four stages or nests of small square open holes, dividing the interior circular wall into four parts, and turning up from the lower part of the tower to the top ; each little hole, or nest, in the row, divided from that beneath only by a sort of shelf, or flag-stone, and forming a little cupboard.

"The appearance of this sort of little cupboards, as well as that of the sections of galleries, is similar to those in this tower, as they are seen in the wall of another dun, in the same neighbourhood. And these square cavities seem obvi ously to have been intended to hold the drinking horns, and other utensils for banqueting in these rude dens."