Font Size

100% 150% 200%

Background Colour

Default Contrast
Close Reset

Watching Brief

Date 10 February 2011

Event ID 959631

Category Recording

Type Watching Brief


NO 5125 1695 A watching brief was carried out on 10 February 2011 during repairs on a faulty electricity cable/junction box located within the E stair of the Sea Tower in St Andrews Castle. The cabling had been cut into a deep trench which underlay the S wall of the Sea Tower and the contents of the trench represented the redeposited back fill of this cut. This suggested that the insertion of the cable trench had seen the removal of substantial masonry and footing elements from the S wall of the Sea Tower, or that there were no defined footings and the masonry sits on made ground. The latter hypothesis seems more likely and in turn implies that the remodelling of the Sea Tower, in the later 16th century, saw changes in ground level immediately S of the earlier 14th-century tower. The present Sea Tower has been much restored, but the creation of a double suite of rooms at ground and first floor levels, apparently with the express purpose of creating a dungeon on the E side, may be related to the fall of the bedrock. However, it is also possible that the Bottle Dungeon was excavated out of the relatively soft bedrock, perhaps enhancing a natural downward slope.

Archive: RCAHMS (intended)

Funder: Historic Scotland

Kirkdale Archaeology, 2011

Information also reported in Oasis (kirkdale1-123793) 26 March 2013

People and Organisations