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131 abounded with wood, this purpose would be readily effected by building a stack of wood round the whole outside of the wall, and then setting it on fire. It was probably with a view to enable them to build this stack of wood with the greater ease, and to suffer the fire to act more forcibly and equally upon the different parts of the wall, as it gradually consumed, that they were induced to incline the walls so far from a perpendicular position. In an after period, when the woods had gradually been destroyed, and before it was well known how to manufacture peat for fuel, it would be such a difficult matter to procure fuel in abundance, that buildings of this kind. would come to be disused, and the art in a fhort period, among a people ignorant of letters, to be entire ly forgotten.
You will perhaps imagine that the above account of the manner in which these walls have been formed is only an ingenious conjecture, entirely destitute of proof; but that they have indeed been formed in: this manner, can, I think, be demonstrated in as clear a manner as the nature of the subject will admit.
The ingenious Mr Williams, already mentioned, by the permifsion of the board of trustees, caused a section to be made across the top of the hill of Knockferrel, which was carried quite through the walls. on each side, in the line marked FF, on the plan, so that any person has now an opportunity of observing the nature of these walls, and may judge of the manner in which they have been constructed.
SECTION OF KNOCKFERREL.
It appears by the section here. given, that the wall all round is covered on the outside with a crust of about two feet in thicknefs, consisting of stones immersed among vitrified matter; some of the stones being half fused themselves, where the heat has been greatest, and all of them having evidently suffered a considerable heat. This crust is of an equal thickness,-, of about two feet from top to bottom, so as to lie back upon, and be supported by, the loose stones behind it.
Within that crust of vitrified matter is another. stratum of some thickness, running from top to bot- . tom, exactly parallel to the former, which consists of loose stones that have been scorched by the fire, but discover no marks of fusion. The stones that are nearest the vitrified part of the wall being most scorched, and those behind becoming gradually less and lefs so, till at length they seem not to have been affected by the heat in the smallest degree, I have endeavoured to represent this in the drawing by the gradual decrease in the shading.
133: It deserves to be remarked, that these different crusts or strata, as I have named them, for want of a more appropriated term, do not consist of separate walls, disjoined from one another, but are parts of one aggregate mafs; as it frequently happens that one stone has one end of it immersed among the vitrified matter in the wall, and the other end of it only scorched by heat; and in the same manner it often happens, that one end of a stone is scorched by heat, while the other end appears never to have suffered in the smallest degree from the action of the fire. This affords the clearest proof that the heat has been applied to them after they have been placed in the wall.
In carrying the section across the level area in the middle of the fortification, there was found a stratum. of black vegetable mold B, lying above the solid rock CCC. This mold has probably been formed in the course of ages by the dunging of theep which resort often to this place for shelter..
Nothing seems to be more judicious or simple than this mode of fortification adopted by our forefathers.. The stones for forming the walls were probably dug from the top of the rock that formed the ridge of the hill, and therefore served at once to level the area of the fort, and to erect the mafsy walls without any expence of carriage. The walls too, although rude in form, and inelegant in appearance, were extremely well adapted for the only mode of defence that their situation rendered, necefsary. For as they were always placed upon the brink of a precipice, no weapon could have been so destructive to an afsailant as -a, stone rolled down the hill: But as the inside of the
wall consisted, in every part of it, of an immense heap
Many hills are fortified in this manner through all
governor Pownal mentions some in a memoir lately
In this age, so much famed for learning, and encou-
* In some of the hills thus fortified, there is another circumvallation,
See the governor's account of Penman Mawr. Archæol. vol. iii. 303,
letter from a country schoolmaster.
135 formed of their amount, which is as follows, viz. school salary, L. 5:11:1, school fees, about L. 7, sefsion clerk's fee and emoluments L. 2, in all L. 14, 11s. 1d. per annum. Many schools are not worth so much, but at least four-fifths of them in the northern part of the kingdom do not much exceed this calculation. This does not amount to 11 d. per day, while a common mechanic receives more than a fhilling, and a day labourer or farm servant, nearly as much as we. But a schoolmaster's expences must be greater than those of a mechanic or farm servant.
The value of money has fallen about one half, during the last fifty years. If this has been the case during the preceding fifty years, (about the beginning of which period our salaries were settled in their present form,) a schoolmaster's annual income was then worth near L. 60. of our present money. Upon this we might support ourselves in a becoming manner. At least, L. 40. or L. 50. would be necefsary to make us comfortable. The nation are not so saving of their money in any other particular; for a minister may squander away two or three millions upon an useless armament; six or seven hundred thousand, annually, upon a colony as useless, with the approbation of a great part of the people. The House of Commons lately voted, for an establishment to the duke of York, L. 8,000. per annum. This sum, with a proportional addition to the school fee, would make all the schoolmasters of Scotland easy in their circumstances. It is very hard that the nation cannot afford so great an augmentation to them all, as to one of the king's sons upon his marriage. It