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Culzean Coves, Stable Caves System

Cave(S) (Period Unassigned), Wall (Period Unknown)

Site Name Culzean Coves, Stable Caves System

Classification Cave(S) (Period Unassigned), Wall (Period Unknown)

Alternative Name(s) Culzean Coves, East Caves; Culzean Castle Policies; Culzean Country Park

Canmore ID 214843

Site Number NS21SW 1.06

NGR NS 2337 1033

NGR Description Centred NS 2337 1033

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/214843

Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2022.

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Administrative Areas

  • Council South Ayrshire
  • Parish Kirkoswald
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Kyle And Carrick
  • Former County Ayrshire

Archaeology Notes

NS21SW 1.06 centred 2337 1033

Scheduled with NS21SW 1.05 (centred NS 2238 1029) as Culzean Coves, caves.

Information from Historic Scotland, scheduling document dated 4 March 2002.

Activities

Field Visit (5 April 2005 - 7 April 2005)

3 caves forming a complex covering 52m by 37m. Not as well understood as the Castle Caves but they also contain elements of masonry and significant and large archaeological deposits.

Laser Scanning (2006)

D Alexander (NTS), J Arthur (GUARD)

Laser scanning survey

NS 2369 1044 In order to get a better understanding and record of the cave system below the main castle at Culzean, a laser scanning survey was undertaken of the interior. Work was carried out using a Cyrax Laser Scanner and took four days. The exterior and interior of the tow main caverns were recorded and a point cloud of the data produced.

Sponsor: Scottish Enterprise Ayrshire, NTS

Trial Trench (3 June 2017 - 8 June 2017)

NS 2328 1029 and NS 2337 1033 Excavation work was conducted, 3–8 June 2017, in the Culzean Caves as part of a National Trust for Scotland Thistle Camp. The proposal had been to excavate four trenches within the Castle Caves (NS21SW1.05) and two within the Stables Caves (NS21SW1.06).

Trench 1 was excavated at the mouth of the Castles Cave and revealed the foundation of the stone wall that crosses the entrance. Trench 2 was not excavated. Trench 3 examined a small dry area on the S side of the lower chamber but bedrock was discovered only a few centimetres down. Trench 4 re-excavated the 1960s trench in the upper chamber and a detailed plan of the chamber was drawn.

Of the two trenches proposed for the Stables Cave only Trench 5 was excavated at the main NW-facing entrance. This revealed that there had been a walled entrance in this location. A section of wall 0.95m wide was found and it had a check for a door and a draw-bar hole. The wall survives to a depth of c1m and stands 8 courses high. A detailed plan of the interior of the Stables Cave was undertaken.

Archive: NTS, WoSAS and NRHE (intended)

Funder: National Trust for Scotland

Derek Alexander – National Trust for Scotland

(Source: DES, Volume 18)

Trial Trench (18 August 2018 - 25 August 2018)

NS 2328 1029 and NS 2337 1033 Excavation work was

conducted, 18–25 August 2018, in the Culzean Caves as

part of a National Trust for Scotland Thistle Camp. The

proposal had been to excavate four trenches within the Castle

Caves (NS21SW 1.05) and two within the Stables Caves

(NS21SW 1.06).

Trenches 1 and 4, in the Castle Caves were excavated last

year. In 2018 Trench 2 was excavated at the foot of the wall

below the latrine chute outside the cave wall. A small trench

0.5 x 0.5m was excavated down to a depth of 0.4m but only

modern material, including glass and plastic was recovered.

Of the two trenches proposed for the Stables Cave, only

Trench 5 was excavated in 2017 at the main NW-facing

entrance. This revealed that there had been a walled entrance

in this location. This trench was widened in 2018 to reveal

the full width of the doorway. This uncovered the southern

side of the doorway with a similar door check and drawbar

hole to the N side. The width of the entrance passage was

1.1m wide and it had several large irregular flagstones as a

floor. Artefacts recovered included pottery, glass and animal

bone. Within the interior of the Stables Cave Trench 6 was

positioned close to the back and measured 1.5 x 1.5m. Apart

from some modern material in the upper layers, the majority

of the 0.5m deep material removed from this trench was inwashed

beach sands and pebbles overlying basalt blocks of

collapsed roof.

Further detailed planning of the interior of the Stables Cave

and the base of the cliff was undertaken.

Archive: NTS and NRHE (intended)

Funder: National Trust for Scotland

Derek Alexander – The National Trust for Scotland

(Source: DES, Volume 19)

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