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Archaeology Notes

Event ID 713423

Category Descriptive Accounts

Type Archaeology Notes


AP archive transferred from NT27SE 228

Salvage excavation was carried out during the installation of a new organ within the S transept of the kirk. A foundation trench measuring 3.8m by 1m was excavated to a depth of 3m partially by building contractors and partially by archaeologists. The upper metre of the trench contained late post-medieval wall footings and ducts. Beneath this a series of near complete and fragmentary inhumations were recorded. All were extended inhumations, aligned EW. Considerable quantities of disarticulated bone were also recovered. It is probable that the burials predate the extension of the S transept in the late 14th century and were originally in the external kirkyard. Beneath the burials a further 1.4m of deposits were excavated, consisting of bulk clays and sands, similar to deposits found in the 1981 excavations within the cathedral.

Sponsor: City of Edinburgh District Council.

M Collard 1992.

NT 2572 7359. A watching brief was carried out on the excavation of a service trench in the N transept of St Giles Cathedral. The floor level of this part of the transept is approximately 1.5m lower than that of the main part of the church and over 1m higher than the High Street. Sandstone bedrock was encountered at 0.45m depth. At the W end of the trench, there was a step cut into the bedrock, approximately 0.25m deep, in which fragments of two wall footings in very different styles, both running N to S were recognised. Some of the features may relate to the cellar lying adjacent to the W. There was nothing to suggest any antiquity to any of the features.

Sponsor: City of Edinburgh District Council

D A Johnstone 1992.

NT 2572 7360 A watching brief was carried out during the excavation of a service trench around the outside of the church, running from the SW corner along the W and N sides of the building to the steps at the E entrance. No archaeological remains were recorded due to the existence of old service trenches and the proximity of natural deposits close to the surface. Bedrock was encountered in a number of places on the N and W sides, at depths between 0.50m and 0.75m.

D A Johnston 1993.

A watching brief was carried out during the installation of underfloor heating in the central area of the choir. Sleeper walls between the column foundations of the choir, identical to those found in the S choir aisle excavations were recorded. The footings of the columns were situated on a deposit of boulder clay. Cut into this boulder clay a considerable number of graves were recorded within the body of the choir. These had been truncated in modern times, and in places in situ articulated bones protruded from the fills. All were left undistrubed. Part of an enigmatic octagonal stone-built feature close to the base of the most easterly choir column of the S arcade was recorded. Its function and date are at present unclear. Within the rubble infill below the 19th century floor three placks coins were found, two of James IV and one of James V.

M Collard 1993.

NT 2572 7359 A watching brief was undertaken between June and August 2004 in six roof spaces above the southern area of the cathedral (NT27SE 204) as part of ongoing renovation works. This followed on from similar visits conducted on the northern roof spaces in 2003. Finds were confined to items and detritus associated with recent building works, such as scrap lead, wire, etc. Several large moulded stone fragments were noted.

Archive to be deposited in the NMRS.

Sponsor: Campbell & Arnott Ltd.

R Engl 2004.

NT 257 736 We undertook a programme of work in St Giles between March and July 2006. A watching brief was carried out on the excavation of an area in the W wing. Several features of archaeological importance were encountered during the works. A 0.40m wide sandstone wall, 2.6m long and aligned E to W was observed at a depth of 0.50m in the W edge of excavation. Remains of a semicircular wall composed of rough unbonded sandstone blocks were observed at a depth of 0.35m, 2.10m E of the W door. This overlay large, rectangular sandstone foundations in a semicircular formation. A large pit was excavated in the SW corner. It contained fragments of moulded masonry, occasional iron nails and a cache of charnel.

Archaeological features were also observed in two trenches during external excavations on the W side of the Cathedral. A sandstone wall was observed in the N trench, to the E of the Cathedral. It is possible that this was the remains of a building, possibly related to the Tolbooth and perhaps contemporary with the construction of the Luckenbooths. It is also likely that this structure was demolished in 1817 during the widening of the High Street. A wall was also observed within the southern trench.

Archive to be deposited in NMRS.

Sponsor: Peter Moran Ltd.

Laura Scott, 2006.

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