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Perth, Whitefriars Street, Carmelite Friary

Culvert (Period Unassigned), Friary (Medieval), Grave, Human Remains(S) (Medieval), Unidentified Pottery (Medieval)

Site Name Perth, Whitefriars Street, Carmelite Friary

Classification Culvert (Period Unassigned), Friary (Medieval), Grave, Human Remains(S) (Medieval), Unidentified Pottery (Medieval)

Alternative Name(s) Tulliburn; White Friars Monastery; Carmelite Friary Of Tullilum; Riggs Road

Canmore ID 28425

Site Number NO12SW 57

NGR NO 1082 2380

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/28425

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

Digital Images

Administrative Areas

  • Council Perth And Kinross
  • Parish Perth
  • Former Region Tayside
  • Former District Perth And Kinross
  • Former County Perthshire

Archaeology Notes

NO12SW 57.00 1082 2380

(NO 1082 2380) White Friars Monastry (NR) (13th Century).

OS 1:500 map, Perth, 1863.

NO12SW 57.01 NO 109 239 Perth, Long Causeway, Fire Station Watching Brief

NO12SW 57.02 NO 109 236 Perth, Glasgow Road Watching Brief

The House of the Carmelite Friars at Tulliburn is said to have been founded in 1262 AD when Richard, bishop of Dunkeld, granted the friars a chapel here; this was the first settlement of Carmelites in Scotland. There is evidence that building, additions and repairs, was in progress at the monastry abaout 1514. It is said to have been destroyed in 1559 ad.

D E Easson 1957.

The site is pointed out on the south side of the Longcauseway in Dovecot Land. In the garden ground attached to some of the houses human bones are frequently dug up. There is here a small dwelling house which has been constructed in the memory of some very aged persons, of a small ruin and which is traditionally stated to have been the ruins of the Church of the Monastary. The lower part of the walls of this house appear plainly to have been part of a very old building as it is quite different from that of the upper part. The site is also referenced on a plan of Perth dated 1792, near the place referred to.

Name Book 1860; Information from 'Plan of Perth' 1792 by Mcfarlane.

(Location cited as NO 107 238). Perth, Whitefriars Street, Carmelite Friary. Excavations in advance of a factory development at Whitefriars Street, Perth revealed the foundations of the eastern end of the Carmelite Friary of Tullilum. The buildings excavated are part of the eastern end of the chancel of the Friary church and the eastern end of the E range. A total of 21 human burials were recovered, 11 of them inside the chancel. Two of the internal burials lay in perfectly preserved wooden coffins. Other finds included the official seal matrix of the Friary and a large group of painted window glass. The pottery from the site has been dated as 13th century thus suggesting that the excavation had revealed the remains of the original 13th century Carmelite foundation.

Sponsors: SDD (AM), MSC, SUAT.

D Hall 1982.

NO 108 237. Monitoring of contractor's foundation trenches in Whitefriars Street/Riggs Road to SW of the site of the Carmelite

friary revealed only the remains of 19th century occupation. This suggests that the southern limits of the friary precinct were located

in the Trust's excavations of 1982.

Sponsors: SUAT, HS

R Cachart 1991.

NO 1082 2380 In advance of the proposed demolition of Normands joiners workshop and construction of three new industrial units an archaeological evaluation was undertaken on the 26th and 27th June 2007. Five machine dug trenches were opened in the available open ground around the standing buildings. The demolished remains of the friary church and its ranges were located in three of the trenches and human remains were encountered in the other two.

Sponsors: Mr Semple

D Hall 2007.

Activities

Watching Brief (1991)

NO 108 237. Monitoring of contractor's foundation trenches in Whitefriars Street/Riggs Road to SW of the site of the Carmelite friary revealed only the remains of 19th century occupation. This suggests that the southern limits of the friary precinct were located in the Trust's excavations of 1982.

Sponsors: SUAT, HS

R Cachart 1991.

Archaeological Evaluation (26 June 2007 - 27 June 2007)

NO 1082 2380 (centred on) In advance of the demolition and redevelopment of Normands joiners workshop an evaluation was undertaken on 26–27 June 2007. Five machine-dug trenches were opened in the open ground around the standing buildings. The demolished remains of the friary church and its ranges were located in three of the trenches and human remains were encountered in the others. Further evaluation and monitoring of site investigation pits confrmed the presence and depth of the deposits.

Further large-scale excavations were carried out 16 June – 22 August 2008 in advance of foundation work that would entail the destruction of all the archaeology within the footprint of the new development. The excavations located an undocumented group of Post-Reformation burials in the friary demolition levels, and exposed the full ground plan of the friary church and the N, W and E sides of the cloister arcade.

Excavations within the church located at least 103 articulated human burials and a sizeable amount of disarticulated human bone. New evidence for the rebuilding of the friary church by the Bishop of Dunkeld was discovered as were various construction phases for the W range of the friary. Excavations were halted by the developer on 22 August 2008 due to the costs involved in the excavation, lifting and analysis of so many human burials.

Archive: RCAHMS

Funder: Direct Flooring Ltd

Derek Hall (SUAT Ltd), 2008

Excavation (26 July 2014)

NO 1082 2378 Excavations restarted at this site on 26 July 2014, after a 7 year gap, and are ongoing. A further 174 human burials were recorded and lifted from the nave and chancel of the friary church. More than 20 of these burials were accompanied by wooden ‘staffs’ or ‘rods’. Two of the burials wore leather shoes. A wood lined grave was located in the rebuilt southern wall of the Carmelite church containing human bones that had been moved from elsewhere in the building. Structural evidence for the chancel arch foundations of the first phase Carmelite church were recovered as well as the rood screen division of the Bishop of Dunkelds rebuild.

The surviving ground floor of the West Range was excavated and was found to contain a sequence of internal mortar and crushed green sandstone floors. The latest of these had a possible stone anvil base built into it. Another building was located to the S of the West Range, and this contained stone-lined drainage features in its floor surface. A range of small finds were recovered including medieval ceramics, window glass and a jet necklace.

Archive: National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE)

Funder: Manorgate Ltd

Derek Hall

(Source: DES, Volume 16)

Excavation (April 2016)

NO 1082 2380 (N012SW 57) Excavations restarted on site in April 2016 following close down in December 2015 (DES 16, 149) due to inclement weather conditions. By November 2016 the burial count from the two phases of the church had risen to 206. A large wood-lined grave c2.5m2 was located in the NW end of the extended church. On excavation this was

found to contain three human burials, one of these had an iron bracelet on its left wrist and another had a wooden staff.

Work outside the NE of the west range located a complex series of light industrial ovens and an associated charcoal spread, which are thought to relate to on site welfare facilties for the builders of the church. Evidence for a water supply being fed to the site from Wellshill to the NW was located running under the floor of the extended church and through the former W end of the earlier church. Work continues at the time of writing.

Archive: NRHE

Funder: Manorgate Ltd

Derek Hall

(Source: DES, Volume 17)

Excavation (21 July 2017)

NO 1082 2380 (NO12SW 57) Excavations were finally completed on 21 July 2017. Over the course of the 129 weeks of the excavation the entire two phases of the Carmelite church were excavated with a final total of 302 burials being lifted from the interior of the building (including 102 found in 2008). A further wood-lined grave was excavated at the W end of the extended church which contained three individuals, one with an iron bracelet on their wrist and another with a wooden ‘staff’. Evidence was recovered for a metalled pathway entering the friary precinct from the W associated with a courtyard with a single ‘post’ setting. This pathway overlay an extensive area of low temperature burning and several small hearths and two ‘ovens’, this is currently being interpreted as evidence for site welfare facilities for the builders of the 13th-century Carmelite church. Tentative evidence was revealed under the W end of that church for a possible earlier building, this included a cross-incised stone and wider rough stone foundations. Excavation of the W range was completed confirming that its walls had been substantially robbed although evidence for at least two green sandstone internal floor surfaces were recorded. The western cloister walk was defined and the badly damaged remains of an arcade line were recorded. The western end of the S range was located, including evidence for an internal waste drainage system probably taking waste from elsewhere in the complex out through its W wall. The site’s water supply was traced from where it entered the site at the NW down to where it served the interior of the S range as a surviving wooden trough (this was lifted for future analysis). To the S of the S range a series of rough stone courtyards were excavated upon which had been dumped vast deposits of oyster shell food waste. The northern edge of the southern precinct boundary around the friary complex was picked up right against the southern edge of the excavated area.

Archive: NRHE

Funder: Manorgate Ltd

Derek Hall

(Source: DES, Volume 18)

OASIS ID: derekhal1-183159

Archaeological Evaluation (24 September 2018 - 5 October 2018)

A slight change to the proposed new building footprint meant the stripping of a part of the site that had never been excavated. Two weeks of hand excavation by the author defined the remains of the line of the North wall of the friary's Southern range and the North wall of the Southern cloister arcade and its metalled surface. Evidence was found for post friary cultivation and extensive robbing of the wall lines to the East. The continuation of part of the friary water supply located in 2017 was traced up to the face of the North wall of the South range where it turned east to run along the outside face of that wall.

Information from Oasis (derekhal1-327384) 29 October 2018

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