Monday, 26 December 2016

Uncovered by a storm

Storm Barbara (90 mph) forced the cancellation of the visit by Father Christmas to the south mainland villages by helicopter. 

Bressay was hit by lightening with many home loosing power and with the ferries out of action it was hours before it was restored. Over 100 homes without power in Tingwall and a further 30 up at Sullom again due to lightening strikes

Today Storm Conor hit and this was even stronger at 105 mph (recorded at Scatness) so we haven't been out much. The roof on the next door's shed was ripped off and the rest was vibrating badly, lucky this was at then end of the storm.

You could feel the vibration through our house and see the windows flexing as the wind thumped against the building. We do feel safe as these Norwegian houses are very well built,  but newer wooden houses may not be up to the same construction specifications.

All the photos here are from Jarlshof, covering 4,000 years of human settlement. First the Neolithic period at 2700 BC remaining occupied until 1600 AD

With oval Bronze age houses and Iron age broch and wheelhouses, Norse longhouses , Medieval farmsteads to the Lairds House dating from 1500 , it is one of the most important archaeological sites in Europe

It was ideally positioned next to the sea in the south mainland but remained hidden until a storm, like today, in the early 19 century uncovered the site.

Excavations started in 1925 and stopped in 1950

From Walter Scott 1821 Novel the Pirate

"Amid this desolation, the inhabitants of Jarlshof had contrived, by constant labour and attention, to keep in order a few roods of land, which had been enclosed as a garden, and which, sheltered by the walls of the house itself, from the relentless sea-blast, produced such vegetables as the climate could bring forth, or rather as the sea-gale would permit to grow; for these islands experience even less of the rigour of cold than is encountered on the mainland of Scotland; but, unsheltered by a wall of some sort of other, it is scarce possible to raise even the most ordinary culinary vegetables; and as for shrubs or trees, they are entirely out of the question, such is the force of the sweeping sea-blast."

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Also other blogs (Canvas prints)

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