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Linlithgow, The Peel

Building(S) (Period Unassigned), Ditch(S) (Period Unassigned), Fort (Period Unassigned)(Possible)

Site Name Linlithgow, The Peel

Classification Building(S) (Period Unassigned), Ditch(S) (Period Unassigned), Fort (Period Unassigned)(Possible)

Alternative Name(s) Linlithgow Palace Ground; Royal Park

Canmore ID 244140

Site Number NT07NW 9.04

NGR NT 0035 7735

NGR Description Centred on NT 0035 7735

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/244140

Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2018.

Collections

Administrative Areas

  • Council West Lothian
  • Parish Linlithgow
  • Former Region Lothian
  • Former District West Lothian
  • Former County West Lothian

Archaeology Notes

NT07NW 9.04 centred on 0035 7735

NT 002 773 An archaeological evaluation was undertaken between December 2001 and February 2002 by means of geophysical survey and trial trenching at Linlithgow Palace and Peel. Although dating evidence was limited, several early linear features were interpreted as the remains of the Royal Manor, established on the top of the natural promontory by David I in the early 12th century. The site was naturally defensible and was used again by Edward I during his Scottish campaigns. He defended access to and from the loch by means of a palisade, possibly encountered during the evaluation. The location of his defensive ditch remains open to speculation. However, negative evidence suggests it may survive as a cutting to the immediate NW of the lodge, now occupied by the park road. Two previously unrecorded ancillary buildings were also discovered. A large defensive ditch surrounding both the Palace and St Michael's Church was revealed, and is thought to have been excavated as part of Cromwell's occupation in 1650. The shoreline of the loch was much altered by reclamation in the early modern period, and the evaluation established the original line. The find of a fragment of Roman mortarium adds to the assemblage of residual Roman material recovered from the site.

Archive to be deposited in the NMRS.

Sponsor: HS

S Stronach 2002

Activities

Online Gallery (1306 - 1329)

The year 2014 sees the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn, in which the army of Robert I of Scotland defeated that of Edward II of England. The battle marked a major turning point in the long, drawn-out struggle of the Wars of Independence.

The Wars have had a lasting influence upon all the nations of the United Kingdom and upon the national story. Each age has seen fit to commemorate the events in its own way: through the perpetuation of the genuine historical associations of buildings and places and also through the endowment of others with improbable or fanciful traditions. Where past generations allowed its historic buildings to decay and disappear, later generations began to value and actively preserve these for their associations. Where an event lacked a tangible reminder, as at Kinghorn where Alexander III was killed in a riding accident, a commemorative monument would be erected to act as a focus. The Wars of Independence predate the fashion for accurate portraiture: the weathered, generic military effigy of Sir James Douglas is one of the few to survive in Scotland. Later centuries saw a need and supplied it by a crowd of images of its historic heroes, William Wallace and Robert the Bruce, each depicted according to contemporary taste and imagination. The opening of the new heritage centre at Bannockburn takes this into a new dimension, through the use of three-dimensional, digital technology.

RCAHMS Collections hold many images of these buildings and locations from battlefields, castles and churches, to the many commemorative monuments erected in later years. This gallery highlights a selection of these, including antiquarian sketches, photographic and drawn surveys, and architectural designs.

Archaeological Evaluation (December 2001 - February 2002)

NT 002 773 An archaeological evaluation was undertaken between December 2001 and February 2002 by means of geophysical survey and trial trenching at Linlithgow Palace and Peel. Although dating evidence was limited, several early linear features were interpreted as the remains of the Royal Manor, established on the top of the natural promontory by David I in the early 12th century. The site was naturally defensible and was used again by Edward I during his Scottish campaigns. He defended access to and from the loch by means of a palisade, possibly encountered during the evaluation. The location of his defensive ditch remains open to speculation. However, negative evidence suggests it may survive as a cutting to the immediate NW of the lodge, now occupied by the park road. Two previously unrecorded ancillary buildings were also discovered. A large defensive ditch surrounding both the Palace and St Michael's Church was revealed, and is thought to have been excavated as part of Cromwell's occupation in 1650. The shoreline of the loch was much altered by reclamation in the early modern period, and the evaluation established the original line. The find of a fragment of Roman mortarium adds to the assemblage of residual Roman material recovered from the site.

Archive to be deposited in the NMRS.

Sponsor: HS

S Stronach 2002

Excavation (28 June 2001 - 30 August 2001)

A watching brief was undertaken in June 2001 during the excavation of two trenches. Trench 1 was excavated in advance of a commemorative tree planting. The trench lay on the enhanced natural terrace which defines the S side of 'The Peel' - the area of parkland which extends to the W and SW of the palace. It is likely that the terrace formed part of the access route to the main entrance to the palace (in its W range).

There was no trace of the approach road to the palace. It appears that the profile of the terrace is either largely natural, or represents the importation of a massive amount of redeposited natural sandy soils, as part of a major landscaping programme of the natural slope S of the loch. In either case, the soils revealed to a depth of 1m were essentially clean mixtures of sandy gravelly silt with water-washed stones throughout.

Trench 2 involved the removal of a series of crude wooden steps, where a shallow trench was cleared to receive new steps. The steps run from a platform at the head of a shallow harbour, next to a boatshed, up a prominent linear earthwork which lies on the W side of the harbour.

The shoreline of the loch which lies to the N of the Palace Peel is currently adapted for pleasure craft access, anchorage and beaching, centred generally around the small harbour. The creation of the latter has clearly rationalised the natural loch side as well as any residual earthworks. The excavation did not shed any light on the date of the bank but showed at least that it was not modern. The upper fabric of the bank was also not a natural deposit scarped to form the bank; rather it was a deliberate dump of material. There was no sign of any revetting deposit other than the present turf line, but this appears to have been levelled off, giving the bank its rather flattened top surface. The bank appears to be either part of some sort of truncated artillery work or some early jetty/wharf arrangement, in association with a similar N-S aligned bank lying some 25m further W.

Sponsor: Historic Scotland

G Ewart 2001

Kirkdale Archaeology

Watching Brief (30 April 2012)

AOC Archaeology Group were commissioned by West Lothian Council to undertake an archaeological watching brief during ground-breaking works associated with the construction of a replacement foot bridge at Linlithgow Peel, Linlithgow, West Lothian, within the Scheduled Ancient Monument of Linlithgow Palace and Peel (SAM 90201). Following the unsupervised groundworks, AOC Archaeology visited site to inspect and record the nature of the ground disturbance and any possible adverse impact on the archaeological resource. No significant archaeological deposits, features or finds were observed, nor was any evidence for such remains apparent, suggesting that such archaeological material had been disturbed by the earlier groundwork

Information from Lindsay Dunbar (AOC Archaeology Group) 17 May 2012.

OASIS ID: aocarcha1-123611

Standing Building Recording (20 January 2014 - 26 February 2014)

NT 022 773 (centred on) An intensive programme of archaeological research was undertaken, 20 January – 26 February 2014, at Linlithgow Palace. This work involved documentary research, the development of an historical overview of the gardens, and detailed recording of the principal

spaces (components) of the palace, including a focused analysis of the evidence of timberwork within a number of the significant components of the upstanding remains.

Archive and report: RCAHMS (intended)

Funder: Historic Scotland

David Murray – Kirkdale Archaeology

(Source: DES)

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