North Sea from the Earth House

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North Sea from the Earth House 3

North Sea from the Earth House  60x75cm.  (24x30ins approx.)  Oil on Canvas                               Sold

Painted over a few months using a smaller outdoor study as the main source material, this work represents the splendid view of the distant North Sea from the Earth House at Ardestie. Anyone driving along the Dundee to Arbroath road will be familiar with the great clouds that can often be seen forming over the North Sea across the coastal plain in the foreground.
The Earth House at Ardestie is a favourite haunt of mine, a souterrain built around 2000 years ago.

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Despite their name, earth houses were not dwellings but stone-lined underground passages. Where they have been excavated, as at Ardestie, associated buildings have been found at ground level. Earth houses are also known by their French name, souterrains (‘undergrounds’) and are found in Brittany, Cornwall and Ireland as well as Scotland.

Earth houses are found all up the eastern seaboard of Scotland, from Lothian to Shetland. There are distinct regional types. They range from the massive earth houses of Angus and Perthshire, averaging some 46m2 in area, to those in the Northern Isles providing a mere 5m2 of floor space. The latter date from around 400 BC, whereas the likes of Ardestie were most likely built in the first two centuries AD.

Ardestie Earth House is over 24m long, with a stone-lined drain in its floor. Excavation in the 1950s revealed a number of small, round stone buildings at ground level. One of these buildings gave direct access into the earth house below.

http://www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/propertyresults/propertydetail.htm?PropID=PL_016