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Date 8 May 2014 - 29 May 2014

Event ID 1012775

Category Recording

Type Excavation


NT 5953 8500 (centred on) In the light of findings from a geophysical survey undertaken in 2013 (DES 2013, 73), further test trenching was undertaken 8–29 May 2014. This work followed on an initial evaluation in 2013 when seven trenches were excavated.

This second stage of evaluation consisted of the excavation of five main trenches and four shallow trial pits at various locations in and around the castle. The main trenches were placed to define and characterise a series of geophysical anomalies, which possibly reflected a range of archaeological contexts from various periods. The small trial pits were placed across the line of an active service trench (electricity) in order to establish its precise location. The findings from the five formal trenches can be summarised with broad phasing in each area as follows:

The Inner Close:

15th/16th century: Late medieval metalworking – smelting and casting.

16th/17th century: Clearance and backfill.

19th century: Levelling and landscaping.

The Outer Close:

15th/16th century: Stone building located towards the W limits of the promontory, possibly in association with a stone rampart/wall line.

16th century: Stone building cleared and levelled in order to create a clear field of fire towards the neighbouring promontory.

18th/19th century: Landscaping and clearance.

The Outer Defences:

12th–14th century: Rig cultivation.

Mid-16th century: Construction of the Ravelin/Spur plus associated earthworks – ditch and terraces.

Late-17th century: Trench and gun position constructed, earlier earthwork truncated on the E side.

Mid to late-19th century: Landscaping and the creation of a new access route.

Archive: RCAHMS (intended)

Funder: Historic Scotland

Gordon Ewart – Kirkdale Archaeology

(Source: DES)

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