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Geophysical Survey

Date February 2006

Event ID 550346

Category Recording

Type Geophysical Survey


NH 727 565 A Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) survey was carried out in February 2006 within the surviving South Aisle building (c 2 x 25m) of Fortrose Cathedral, which is situated on the Black Isle approximately 15 miles N of Inverness. The vaulted ceiling of the South Aisle will need to be supported during replacement of the building's existing wall ties. GPR was undertaken with the aim of identifying any large voids beneath the floor to assist with the placement of equipment when propping the ceiling.

Survey was undertaken using a GSSI 3000 GPR system with a 400MHz antenna. The near data are dominated by responses from the paved surface of the floor of the South Aisle with coherent reflections corresponding with tombstones visible on the floor. In the deeper time-slices several reflections suggesting subterranean changes are apparent. The primary area of concern is at the gated entrance of the cathedral, with strong reflections suggesting possible voids or at least potentially disturbed ground/unconsolidated material. Two possible 'coffins' have been located. However, both of these lie beneath tombstones, which will not be used to prop the roof. There are also indications of a possible structure along the southern limit of the survey area, adjacent to the cathedral wall.

Archive lodged with the Geophysics Unit, Orkney College, Kirkwall, Orkney, KW15 1LX.

Sponsor: Historic Scotland.

S Ovenden 2006

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