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Edinburgh, 8a-8b Tower Street

Fort (Period Unassigned)(Possible), Midden (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Edinburgh, 8a-8b Tower Street

Classification Fort (Period Unassigned)(Possible), Midden (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Timber Bush; Ramsay's Fort

Canmore ID 213522

Site Number NT27NE 968

NGR NT 2725 7658

NGR Description Centred on NT 2725 7658

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/213522

Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Edinburgh, City Of
  • Parish Edinburgh (Edinburgh, City Of)
  • Former Region Lothian
  • Former District City Of Edinburgh
  • Former County Midlothian

Archaeology Notes

NT27NE 968 centred 2725 7658

NT 2725 7658 An archaeological evaluation was carried out on land (2400m2) between Tower Street and Timber Bush. The evaluation trenches comprised 14% of the development area and exposed a length of the rampart of Ramsay's Fort, the NE bastion of the Leith fortifications constructed between 1548 and 1559 by the French. The wall survived up to 1.8m high and comprised three elements: an outer northern face of around six courses of rounded stones, measuring up to 0.6 x 0.7 x 0.8m; an inner core of possible mortared stone; and a possible inner face of dressed stone. Within the interior of the fort were a series of midden layers dating to the mid-17th century.

In addition to these works, a programme of historic building recording was undertaken within the development area, on warehouse structures ranging in date from the early 19th century to the early 20th century.

Sponsor: Bryant Homes Scotland Ltd.

M Cook 2001

NT 2725 7658 An archaeological excavation was carried out prior to housing development at this site which lies within the area thought to contain part of the wall of the 16th-century Ramsay's Fort. No trace of Ramsay's Fort was found through excavation and it is possible that it lay further to the W or S of the present site.

A substantial wall of later date was uncovered. This is thought to be part of a fortification built by Edinburgh Town Council in 1649 to protect against attack from parliamentary forces following the execution of Charles I. This was later faced with a sea wall constructed from rounded boulders. Inclusions of glass slag within this structure suggest that it dates to the mid-18th century or later. Midden deposits containing large quantities of pottery, both local and imported wares, and clay pipe dating to the 17th to 18th centuries were also uncovered, together with quantities of glass slag. The probable 17th-century fortification and the sea wall have been preserved in situ outwith the footprint of the proposed development.

Sponsor: Bryant Homes Scotland Ltd.

H Moore and G Wilson 2001

NT 2720 7658 A programme of site assessment and building recording was carried out in advance of housing development. The site lies to the immediate W side of the site of recent archaeological investigations (DES 2001, 44). Three large walls and a midden spread were identified during trial trenching. Two of the walls, previously seen in 2001, are thought to represent a fortification of 1649 with an 18th-century sea wall built against it. The third wall was of a more substantial nature and may represent part of Ramsay's Fort, built between 1548-59. A programme of building recording was undertaken on the upstanding remains on the site.

Sponsor: Bryant Homes.

H Moore, G Wilson and J Franklin 2002

Activities

Archaeological Evaluation (2001)

NT 2725 7658 An archaeological evaluation was carried out on land (2400m2) between Tower Street and Timber Bush. The evaluation trenches comprised 14% of the development area and exposed a length of the rampart of Ramsay's Fort, the NE bastion of the Leith fortifications constructed between 1548 and 1559 by the French. The wall survived up to 1.8m high and comprised three elements: an outer northern face of around six courses of rounded stones, measuring up to 0.6 x 0.7 x 0.8m; an inner core of possible mortared stone; and a possible inner face of dressed stone. Within the interior of the fort were a series of midden layers dating to the mid-17th century.

In addition to these works, a programme of historic building recording was undertaken within the development area, on warehouse structures ranging in date from the early 19th century to the early 20th century.

Sponsor: Bryant Homes Scotland Ltd.

M Cook 2001

Excavation (2001)

NT 2725 7658 An archaeological excavation was carried out prior to housing development at this site which lies within the area thought to contain part of the wall of the 16th-century Ramsay's Fort. No trace of Ramsay's Fort was found through excavation and it is possible that it lay further to the W or S of the present site.

A substantial wall of later date was uncovered. This is thought to be part of a fortification built by Edinburgh Town Council in 1649 to protect against attack from parliamentary forces following the execution of Charles I. This was later faced with a sea wall constructed from rounded boulders. Inclusions of glass slag within this structure suggest that it dates to the mid-18th century or later. Midden deposits containing large quantities of pottery, both local and imported wares, and clay pipe dating to the 17th to 18th centuries were also uncovered, together with quantities of glass slag. The probable 17th-century fortification and the sea wall have been preserved in situ outwith the footprint of the proposed development.

Sponsor: Bryant Homes Scotland Ltd.

H Moore and G Wilson 2001

Standing Building Recording (2002)

NT 2720 7658 A programme of site assessment and building recording was carried out in advance of housing development. The site lies to the immediate W side of the site of recent archaeological investigations (DES 2001, 44). Three large walls and a midden spread were identified during trial trenching. Two of the walls, previously seen in 2001, are thought to represent a fortification of 1649 with an 18th-century sea wall built against it. The third wall was of a more substantial nature and may represent part of Ramsay's Fort, built between 1548-59. A programme of building recording was undertaken on the upstanding remains on the site.

Sponsor: Bryant Homes.

H Moore, G Wilson and J Franklin 2002

References

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