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Date 1 September 1997 - 4 September 1997

Event ID 1013191

Category Recording

Type Excavation


Kirkdale Archaeology was required by Historic Scotland to investigate the possibility of excavating a soak-away to the S of the S tower of the W doorway to accommodate roof-shed water from the newly re-roofed structure. Because of the presence of hoarding to screen the excavation, and the need for an area on which to dump spoil, it was not possible to clear an area 6 x 6m, as indicated in the brief, the available space being approximately 5 x 4m (Trench 1).

After removal of topsoil and cleaning of the exposed surface, it was clear that the whole area represented disturbed ground with 7 individual graves being identifiable (including the fragment of a base for a probable table tomb), and that it would not be possible to excavate further without disturbing burials. Subsequent on-site discussion with the District Architect, Michael Pendery, indicated that there may have been an existing soak-away area at the foot of the steps to the W door below the present gavel pathway, and with the permission of the Principal Inspector, Denys Pringle, it was decided to open a narrow trench (Trench 2) against the SW angle and W face of the tower.

It was discovered that an existing, modern drainage channel had been cut against the base of the tower and did indeed run into a rubble-filled soak-away area against the bottom step. The channel was emptied to provide an open trench within which a pipe could be carried from the existing down-pipe to the soak-away.

Kirkdale Archaeology, 1997

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