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Watching Brief

Date 19 July 2011

Event ID 935358

Category Recording

Type Watching Brief


NT 5160 8393 and NT 5164 8392 A watching brief was maintained on 19 July 2011 during the excavation of two small trenches for new interpretation boards. One trench was located within the castle compound while the other was positioned adjacent to the present footbridge.

The trench within the castle (NT 5160 8393) revealed bedrock with no sign of weathering and was too uneven to represent the courtyard surface. The other trench (NT 5164 8392) appeared to be cut against an artificial terrace. The terrace presently defines the S edge of the main defensive ditch and also provides a platform for formal planting. The terrace may form part of the elaborate gardens associated with the 16th-century occupation of the site, which included a central parterre (presently a bowling green and a series of other compartments defined by low earthworks to the E and S). The terrace also serves to provide an access point to the bridge. Whether the rocky outcrop was complemented by a ditch in the 13th century is unknown. However, it is possible that the present terrace represents a rationalisation of a route leading up to an earlier bridge point, perhaps at a lower level.

Archive: RCAHMS (intended)

Funder: Historic Scotland

Kirkdale Archaeology 2011

Information also reported in Oasis (kirkdale1-122358) 25 February 2013

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