By Michael Newton
A guide of the Scottish Gaelic global focuses upon Gaelic cultural survival from the twelfth to the 18th centuries.
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Extra info for A handbook of the Scottish Gaelic world
It’s clearly the work of a master craftsman. We see a helmeted head with wide eyes gazing to the right. The jaw is fringed—probably the representation of a collar rather than a beard. Beneath is a wolf suckling twins— the story of Romulus and Remus in Roman mythology. The carving is really detailed—we even see some strokes for the fur. Behind the head is an eight-pointed star and a circle, and we can just see the edge of a second star and circle behind the spirals in gold wire attached to the loop.
The tower is an amazing folly, by any standards. It was planned by the banker Henry Hoare II, designed by Henry Flitcroft, and completed in 1762. Hoare’s original inspiration was the four-sided St Mark’s Tower in Venice, but in the end a triangular redbrick building was constructed, with round projections at each of the three corners. Its height is 162 ft/49 m. The walls are 33 inches (84 cm) thick. 2 million bricks. A website
It’s 738 ft (225 m) high and an obvious defensive position. The site is also the home of a famous landmark on the steep western slope of the ridge: the Westbury White Horse. It was originally cut into the chalk, but is now concreted over, safeguarding its future but, when seen close up, reducing its aesthetic appeal. The symbolic value of the white horse is very great, for it is associated with the first Anglo-Saxon invaders (Chapter 1), who are said to have fought under a white horse banner; but records of this particular horse date only from the 18th century.
A handbook of the Scottish Gaelic world by Michael Newton