Tealing Earth House

  • Tealing, Angus



Tealing Earth House dates to the first few centuries AD, and was discovered during ploughing in 1871. It has a layout typical of an Angus souterrain, with a long, banana-shaped passage some 25m long, 2.5m wide and 2m tall.

An excavation conducted by Angus antiquarian Andrew Jervise in 1874 revealed the earth house was divided into a series of compartments, and roofed with massive flat slabs. A small room at the end of the chamber was formed by a pair of upright slabs.

Jervise also found two cup-and-ring marked stones within the souterrain’s corbelled walls.

A Roman connection

Souterrains are found across Scotland’s eastern seaboard. All sorts of suggestions have been advanced as to what they were used for.

Their dating, in the first and second centuries AD, suggests they could have been built to store grain and meat during the occupation by the Roman army. Finds in Tealing Earth House lend some credence to this idea.

Jervise’s 1874 excavations found:

  • animal bones
  • sherds of native pottery
  • 10 broken quern stones, tools used for hand-grinding
  • high-quality Roman glass and pottery

Most souterrains were filled in deliberately in about AD 200, as if they were no longer needed.


Opening times

1 Apr to 30 Sept

1 Oct to 31 Mar

Historic Scotland


Download our visitor app

Discover more on the go – the Historic Scotland app lets you find out about Scotland’s most iconic places wherever you are.

Plan your visit

More than 20 of our sites are now open. Please book your tickets in advance.

Become a member

Join Historic Scotland to visit our properties free of charge for a full year and support our work at the same time.

Hire a site for filming

Use one of our fantastic locations on your next shoot for an awe-inspiring backdrop to your work.

Learning visits

Our 300+ historic places serve as creative inspiration for all sorts of learning activities – and for learners of all ages.

Search our events

See the past brought to life by the imaginative year-round programme of events at our properties.