Friday, 12 June 2009

The Ell House

I enjoyed wandering around Dunkeld one evening - and again the next morning - when GB and I stayed there in May. One of the sights was the Ell House in the market square. Originally built as a hospital in 1735 the building derives its name from an iron ell - a weaver's measure - which was fixed to the side of the building. An upper storey room was used as an Episcopal Congregation Meeting House from 1753 to 1763.

The building now houses a National Trust for Scotland shop.

The Scottish ell was fixed as 37 inches long in 1661. Some town market places had a standard ell against which the merchants own measuring sticks would be checked. The ell fell into disuse when English measurements were imposed in Scotland in 1834. I suspect there was even more fuss then than there has been about changing imperial measures to metric ones nowadays.


  1. Beautiful old building.

  2. Just a thought, wonder why we used the ell and not the cubit as the Romans did. Can see it in Scotland, Hadrian called a draw up there. The ell was popular in Derbyshire ( not in my lifetime I hasten to add).
    Ah what the ell!

  3. Hello from Nouméa
    Love the flying piggy


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