Dornoch Local Customs

  • The Plainden Ell
    The Plainden Ell
    by scottishvisitor
  • pipe bands
    pipe bands
    by hevbell

Most Recent Local Customs in Dornoch

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    How cloth was measured

    by scottishvisitor Updated Feb 18, 2009

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    This stone which we found in the old kirk yard of the Cathedral is not a marker for the Dead but an old medieval measuring device. It is called a Plaiden Ell, an ell is an old Scottish unit of measurement used for hundreds of years, which was a standard unit of measurement for cloth at exactly thirty seven inches. The present Kirk yard is enclosed by a wall, but in days gone by this was an open place where pigs roamed freely and fairs and markets took place. The word 'plaiden' means blanket in Scottish Gaelic - surprisingly there is no translation for tartan in this language but it make some sense as both are cloth. These stones were replaced by rods of exactly the same length and still can be found on the walls of some kilt-makers here in the Highlands.

    The Plainden Ell
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    by hevbell Updated Feb 8, 2004

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    While looking round the art gallery a crowd was gathering outside so of course we had to go find out why! It turned out that there was a mass pipe band marching up and down the street for whatever reason. I never used to like bagpipe music but I must admit it does make me come over all patriotic so we stuck around to watch it all.

    Truth be told we couldn't have left even if we wanted to since the crowds were blocking in my car, conveniently parked at the square!!

    pipe bands
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    • Family Travel

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Dornoch Local Customs

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