Pitt-Rivers toured Scotland both as Inspector of Ancient Monuments and accompanying his wife on a private visit in the summer of 1885. We know that he met up with the Tylors (Edward Burnett and Anna) from her diary:

3-16 August 1885, on holiday in Scotland with the Pitt-Rivers family, on the 3rd the Tylors '...met with the Pitt Riverss & made plans with them to go to Stornoway', on the 16th after travelling around they 'parted from the Pitt Rivers's in the evening, although they later met up again at Strathpeffer on 22nd August where they dined and stayed together (presumably in a hotel).

See Rethinking Pitt-Rivers | Pitt-Rivers and Tylor for more information.

One of the National Archives Pitt-Rivers workbooks includes an account by an unnamed assistant of Pitt-Rivers about this visit, the account is transcribed in full below.

Note that the page numbers are in reverse to the narrative flow:

Workbook 39/16

Page 230

July 27th 85 Monday

Left London from Euston at 10 oclock arrived at Keswick about 6.46

Cab fare with luggage 3/6

Luggage at Euston 6d

Refreshments during journey 3/-

Tuesday July 28th

Left Keswick by train at 8.15 for Whitehaven changed there for Ravenglass changed again there for Boot [1] arriving there at 11.7. Went to Druid's circle made sketch and took section Left Boot at 2.30 for Keswick changed at Whitehaven had to wait there an hour so

Page 229

walked on to pier and saw an ship building

The hill shewn in colored [sic] sketch of Druids circle near Eskdale is Whin Rigg, at the foot of which runs the River [illegible] The coast being shewn in the distance is near [illegible] which place is passed from Whitehaven to Ravenglass.

The rail running from Ravenglass to Boot is narrow gauge and composed for the train composed of a small tank engine and two small carriages. The journey is very pretty running as it does round some sharp curves to avoid the large masses of rock laying at the foot of the hill sides.

Page 228

Left Keswick on Wednesday at 9.45 for Penrith

Refreshments at Penrith 2/-

Left Penrith for Shap at 11.25

Arrived at Shap at 11.57

Drove to Shap Abbey from there to circle (double) of stones near to Gunnerkeld Farm about 3 miles from Shap.

Made colored sketch whilst General made plan, afterwards made a Section

Returned to Shap to catch the 7.35 train for Penrith

Arrived there about 8 oclock. Before leaving Shap visited the remains of stone circle near L. and N.W. Railway portion of which was destroyed or covered over in constructing the line. [2]

Page 227

Refreshments at for the day at Shap 2/-

July 30th Thursday

Leave to-day for Edinboro' [sic] at 12.52 Arrived in Edinboro' at 1/4 to 5. Had a pleasant journey riding [?] 1st class train being full

After In evening walked up to Calton Hill

Friday July 31st

Worked out sections and plans and finished water color [sic] sketches all day indoors.

In the evening went into Scottish Academy. Exhibition of water colors Then up to Calton Hill and Castle Hill

After supper along Princes St.

Page 226

Saturday Aug'st 1st

Leave by 11.30 train for Castlecary near Falkirk

made sections &c of remains of Roman Wall, returned to Edinboro by the 4.7 train

In evening walked to top of Calton Hill

Sunday Aug'st 2nd / 85

In the morning went to service at St Marys Cathedral stayed to communion. In afternoon walked to top of Arthur's Seat.

In evening walked to top of Calton Hill.

Monday Aug'st 3

Very wet day

Took parcel to station to go to Grosvenor Gardens [3]

Went into Museum to see Mr Hastie

Page 225

Monday Aug'st 3rd (continued)

Left Edinboro' by 12.25 train for Oban arriving there about 6 oclock journey rather dull owing to [illegible, crossed out] Met Mr Tylor [4] at Railway Station went out in evening and bought some photographs 8/-

Tuesday Aug'st 4th

Intending going by boat to Stornoway but on arrival of "Clar...' [full name illegible] found her full

Wednesday Aug'st 5th

Drove to the Serpentine Mound near Oban took sketch plan and section thro same

From there to Dunstaffnage Castle on Loch ------- [5]

near Connel Ferry

In the evening went round the sea shore to Dunolly Castle Had a splendid view of Ben Cruachan

Page 224

Wednesday Aug'st 5th

Left at 7 oclock by boat for Staffa and Iona having a very fine trip. Weather very warm

Went into Fingal's Cave and round causeway to top of island. From there to Iona. Did not go to Cathedral or Cross but made sketch of stone (tomb) in Nunnery of Prioress Anna [6]

Thursday Aug'st 6h

Left Oban by Steamboat Grenadier [7] [insert] at 7  [end insert] for Gairloch arriving there about 9 oclock

Friday Aug'st 7th

Stayed in during morning worked out sections &c In afternoon went to take plan &c of shieling near Gairloch

Page 223

Saturday Aug'st 8th

In morning went [insert] drove [end insert] to Loch [illegible] Hotel and back

In evening left at 8.15 for Stornaway by Claymore arriving late at 12 oclock

Sunday Aug'st 9th

Very wet day

Went out for a stroll round town and on to quay to see boats &c Imperial Hotel

Herring fishing &c Stornaway

Monday Aug'st 10th

Drove to Callanish Stones

Made water color sketch of same also [insert] began [end insert] plan

Tuesday Aug'st 11th

Drove again to Callanish St finish plan

Visited small circle near Castle Had a splendid view of Ben Cruachan

Page 222

Wednesday Aug'st 12th

Drove with Genl. and Mrs R. and Mr and Mrs Tylor to Barvas. Visited large standing stone from there also some cottages, and in evening went to see Flora MacDonald (an old woman) make some pottery with blue clay (craggans) Stayed at Barvas all night [see here for more information about this visit]

Thursday Aug'st 13th

Left Barvas at 8.30 driving to Carloway on the way sketching and making plans of a Norse mills and a broch near the road. Went on to Pictish Tower at Carloway and made water colour sketch whilst Genl took plan &c From there drove to Callanish and whilst others went up to see the stones I went and inspected small [illegible]

Page 221

of stones standing near Gary-na-hine Inn (See "princess of Shule" by Black)

Friday Aug'st 14th

Drove to Loch Morsgail (Morsgail shooting lodge) to see bee-hive houses. Scenery very wild here, Changed horses at Gary-na-hine Inn

Saturday Aug'st 15th

Went to remains of ---- Chapel on the Eye Peninsula and sketched tomb of Knight

Sunday Aug'st 18th

Went for walk along by shore with W.W. of Edinboro'

In evening went for a walk the Castle Grounds at Stornoway

Page 220

Went on board the mail steamer Locked [?] at 11 oclock

Monday Aug'st 17th

Left Stornaway at 3 oclock a.m. for Strome Ferry and had a very fair passage across the Minch the water being very smooth. The morning light on the distant hills was very fine. The air very cold. Arrived at Strome about 10 oclock. Left for Strathpeffer by Highland Railway at 11 oclock. Passed thro' some beautiful scenery, and saw snow on one of the mountains tops. Arrived at Strathpeffer about 12.40

In afternoon walked up to the hill called the Cat Back laying at the back of the hotel

Page 219

Tuesday Aug'st 18th

Stayed in all day working out drawings of Norse Mill and Shielings &c taken in Lewis

Wednesday Aug'st 19th

Working indoors all day

Thursday 20th

Working indoors all day

Friday 21st

Got up at 5.30 and had a walk before breakfast to "Cats back"

Saturday 22nd

Went to see vitrified fort on Scuir Marksie near the falls of Co[illegible] Very hot day Took plan and sketch of hill

[illegible] made sketch of stones in burial ground at

Page 218

Sunday 23rd

Went for a walk up to Cats back" till 1 oclock

In afternoon went out for a walk till about 7.30

Monday 24th

Made drawings of eagle stone opposite station Strathpeffer also standing stone with cup marks in Ch yd near Strathpeffer In afternoon went to Dingwall with the Genl and accompanied by Mr Joass (architect)[8] drove to see some cup stones &c Drove back to Dingwall in the evening

Page 217

Tuesday 25th

Wednesday 26th

Working indoors all morning In afternoon went with Genl. to take plan and sketches of group of stones on the end of the "Cats Buck" near the village of Jamestown

Thursday 27th

Left Strathpeffer at 12.30 for Golspie

Friday 28th


Page 216

Friday 28th

Went with Genl. and Mrs R. and Dr Joass [9] of Golspie to Dunrobin to see Museum &c &c Afterwards drove to remains of Pictish Tower then to 2 others in woods above Dunrobin Cas. In afternoon left by train for Thurso getting there about 6.30. Had tea at hotel then went on board the mail steamer and had a splendid passage to Kirkwall landing there about 11 oclock

Saturday 29th

Drove to St... [illegible but not Stromness] took sketches &c of standing stones and visited "Maeshowe"

Returned to Kirkwall about 6.30.

Page 215

Sunday 30th Aug'st

Drove out in afternoon with Genl. and Mrs R. to see some corn drying kilns &c. Took plan &c of same

Went into the Cathedral (St Magnus) to make sketches of old tomb stones with iron shod spades

Monday 31st Aug'st

Went out in the morning with the Genl. to look at some underground chambers on Whiteford Hill [sic - Wideford?] near Kirkwall

Being in a dilapidated condition no measurements of consequence were taken

In afternoon left Kirkwall

Page 214

... to see remains of a pictish tower and some surrounding chambers and dwellings near Scapa Left Kirkwall by the mail steamer for Thurso about 4.30 and had a very fair trip across the Pentland Firth. We felt the swell of the Atlantic whllst crossing and the book rolled a good deal. Saw a splendid sunset on the sea.

Arrived in Thurso about 8 oclock. Very cold the latter part of the trip.

Tuesday Sept'er 1st

Left Thurso about 8.30 for Golspie arriving there about 11.30


[1] This is probably this railway, 'Boot village grew up with the discovery of iron ore in the fell side to the north. The Whitehaven Iron Mines Company operated Nab Gill mine, and built the mineral railway to Ravenglass to service it. Mining and quarrying continued well into the 20th century. The present Dalegarth terminus was built beside the road in 1926.' See here.

[2] the railway line clearly cutting the stone circle can be seen here. This is Kemp Howe Stone Circle.

[3] 4 Grosvenor Gardens, London, Pitt-Rivers' London home.

[4] Edward Burnett Tylor

[5] Loch Etive

[6] According to wikipedia, this must be the headstone of Anna MacLean, prioress, who died 1543

[7] According to here, 'The Oban-Staffa-Iona vessel Grenadier was lost in 1927'

[8] John James Joass, brother of James Maxwell Joass

[9] James Maxwell Joass

AP October 2011.

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