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Watching Brief

Date 15 March 2005 - 16 March 2005

Event ID 1034195

Category Recording

Type Watching Brief


NS 8153 4635 A watching brief was undertaken in March 2005 during the excavation of 14 post-pits for new railings in the outer courtyard of the castle (NS84NW 3), at the far W side near the main entrance doorway. Five pits were cut on an E–W line from the N side of the entrance, to a point 6.3m to the E where this line would link to the N end of a N–S line of nine further pits with a length of 11.6m. Total length of pit lines – 17.9m. The area of the work ran down the N and E sides of a modern footpath which may well have disturbed the adjacent surface levels. In particular, an area of cobblestones along the E side of the footpath looked modern.

It is known from previous work (DES 2003, 126) that the inner and outer courtyards of Craignethan Castle were originally paved with an extensive surface of cut basalt paving blocks, which now only survive in part below the modern turf and topsoil. These works indicated that residual patches of paving blocks still exist to the N of the gateway, with the two lines of pits revealing the extent of the robbing. The layers in the empty pits merely exhibited late levelling debris over a natural clay, silt and pebble-rich subsoil.

D Stewart 2005

Sponsor: Historic Scotland

Kirkdale Archaeology

People and Organisations