What the ell….?

If Scotland votes for independence in 2014, they will no longer have to use the old imperial measures forced upon them by the Act of Union 350 years ago.  They could even go back to the “ell” – the measure formerly used by Scottish merchants when cutting lengths of cloth, wood and the like.

An ell was exactly 37 inches long, but because shopkeepers and traders in remote parts of the country were sometimes guilty of giving short measure there had to be a standard against which to set other measuring devices. And here it is, the “official ell”, a bit of seventeenth-century history set into the wall beside what is now the Scottish National Trust’s shop in Dunkeld, near Perth.

Place to stay: The Royal Dunkeld Hotel, Atholl Street, Dunkeld, Perthshire PH8 0AR. Tel: 01350 727322. Fax: 01350 728989. E-mail: reservations@royaldunkeld.co.uk Website: www.royaldunkeld.co.uk



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