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Geophysical Survey

Date 1 February 2017 - 4 February 2017

Event ID 1040807

Category Recording

Type Geophysical Survey


NT 59158 31703 A programme of geophysical survey was undertaken, 1–4 February 2017, over c0.8ha covering the southern limits of HES’s property in care area of Dryburgh Abbey, primarily to the S of the extant boundary ditch. Dryburgh Abbey, a house of Premonstratensian canons, was founded in 1150 by Hugh de Moreville. It was burned by the English in both 1322 and 1385. It was subsequently devastated by fire in 1461, and was probably damaged again in 1523. A combination of gradiometer, resistance and ground penetrating radar (GPR) surveys were undertaken.

The gradiometer data are dominated by strong responses throughout the survey area most of which are thought to have a modern or natural origin, although some pit type anomalies and linear trends have also been noted. Within the resistance data there is a series of high and low resistance anomalies suggesting a possible ditch type feature running parallel to and c15m to the S of the existing boundary ditch, although the gradiometer data does not support interpretation of a second ditch. It is possible that the resistance data might indicate a possible track or drove way. However, the resistance response is confusing as it appears to suggest a ‘crossing point’ c30m to the NW of the gatehouse, although the topography of the area would suggest this is highly unlikely. It is assumed that the existing boundary ditch in the W broadly follows an old river terrace, hence the height variation to the N and S of it.

Within the GPR data numerous anomalies have been identified. The majority of these are amorphous and thought to reflect variations in the underlying sands and gravels with some more discrete responses possibly indicating more clearly defined palaeochannels. A possible drainage feature has been detected in the S of the survey area leading to the gate house.

Based on the results of the GPR survey, it seems probable that many of the anomalies recorded in the various geophysical data sets are due to a combination of natural sands and gravels and subsequent ridge and furrow cultivation.

Archive: Rose Geophysical Consultants

Funder: Kirkdale Archaeology on behalf of Historic Environment Scotland

Susan Ovenden – Rose Geophysical Consultants

(Source: DES, Volume 18)

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