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Date 13 January 2004 - 5 May 2004

Event ID 1034337

Category Recording

Type Excavation


NS 815 463 An evaluation was undertaken in January 2004 to determine the extent of the buried cobbled courtyard surface known to lie against the W side of the tower (see DES 1998, 91), and to monitor the cutting of a new drain trench from the N wall of the tower to the edge of the nearby gorge, a continuation of work carried out last year (DES 2003, 126).

The interpretation of the sequences located in the courtyard evaluation indicate the presence of a finely constructed cobbled surface, seen to the N and S of the tower as well as occupying all of the courtyard to the W of the tower.

A shallow trench within the confines of the courtyard N wall revealed only a sandy clay levelling horizon, presumably related to the original stone surface. A deep narrow trench through the N courtyard wall revealed the full shape of the cut, but showed no sign of a constructed doorway in this part of the wall.

Further archaeological monitoring was undertaken during two minor excavations in May 2004. The first involved the site of new cycle racks to be positioned to the NW of the outer courtyard next to an existing car park. The second was to clear out remaining sediment in the partly exposed stone-lined drain running along the N side of the tower in an area of newly laid setts. The latter revealed the fine quality of the old stone-lined box drain, which may well have drained a level represented by the buried cobble surface known to exist below the present turfed-over courtyard. The insertion of the W transverse wall broke through this drain, rendering it useless. However, the depth of debris over the NE corner of the courtyard (over 500mm in places - possibly a levelling-up process against the W wall) necessitated a higher-level drain which was consequently made an integral part of the W transverse wall construction, draining down into the severed end of the older drain below.

D Stewart 2004

Sponsor: Historic Scotland

Kirkdale Archaeology

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