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Sir John de Graham's Castle and Kirk o'Muir Community Project

Date 6 September 2017 - 11 September 2017

Event ID 1043706

Category Recording

Type Excavation


A community project, involving volunteers and pupils from local Primary Schools, was carried out at the sites of Sir John de Graham’s Castle and Kirk o’ Muir cemetery. All the works were funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund as part of the Year of Heritage, History and Archaeology.

Metal detecting training at Sir John de Graham’s Castle focused on areas to the east and southeast of the site, outwith the scheduled area. All finds were GPS located, excavated, recorded and subsequently reburied, as all were recent. Additionally, the site was flown using SUA and 3D terrain model and contour plan of the site produced to be used in conjunction with existing HES plan to further enhance the interpretation of the site.

Six trenches were excavated at the site of Kirk o’ Muir cemetery in order to investigate remains of former nineteenth century school building and medieval chapel, both recorded on historical maps and sources. Excavations in Trench 1, located in the southwest corner of the cemetery, confirmed the presence

of the school structure, and uncovered significant accumulation of demolition Excavations in Trenches 2-5 failed to uncover any indisputable evidence for in situ remains of the medieval chapel. Nevertheless, the presence of demolition material, attest to its likely former presence in immediate vicinity. The excavations also uncovered evidence for substantial raising of the ground level in 19th century, which suggests that further, earlier remains, including the foundations of the chapel may lie buried at a considerable depth beneath this made ground.

Investigations outwith the cemetery wall to the north (Trench 4) focused on apparent banked feature, which was found to be a dry-stone dyke, most likely associated with now vanished farmstead of Kirk o’ Muir, also recorded in earlier sources.

In addition, graveyard survey and careful cleaning of some of the gravestones was also undertaken as part of the project, resulting in uncovering the earliest dated grave slab (1651) identified in the cemetery to date.

Finally, the project also involved production of an audio and soundscape diary for both sites to be used for further interpretation and to enhance the project's outcome.

Information from Oasis (connolly1-301468) 23 October 2018

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