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Hawking Cave

Cave (Period Unassigned), Unidentified Flint (Flint), Unidentified Pottery (Medieval)

Site Name Hawking Cave

Classification Cave (Period Unassigned), Unidentified Flint (Flint), Unidentified Pottery (Medieval)

Canmore ID 40667

Site Number NS15SE 3

NGR NS 1794 5079

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council North Ayrshire
  • Parish West Kilbride
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Cunninghame
  • Former County Ayrshire

Archaeology Notes

NS15SE 3 1794 5079

(NS 1794 5079) Cave (NR)

OS 6" map (1970)

A rock shelter or cave some 300 yds from the N end of a range of sandstone cliffs stretching from Bregurd Point to Portincross, and near a spring called the 'Wishing Well", was excavated in 1879. The cave was 27ft long and 6ft high and wide for 15ft back. In this 15ft the excavation was taken to a depth of 6ft. Three "floors" were visible, one at 18 ins, another at 30ins, and the third 39ins deep. Each was formed of layers of sea shells on layers of ashes on trodden sand. Deer, pig, sheep, ox, and goat bones were found at all levels, horse bones between the upper and second, and dog bones between the middle and third floors. A bone object with a square hole at one end was found on the second floor, and a flint object came from immediately above the lowest floor. A slate object was round in the debris. Some slag and pottery were found, the latter included a coarse, unglazed, reddish type and a thinner, better type with a green glaze. The bone implement and some pottery fragments are in the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland (NMAS) (Accession Numbers. HM 3-4).

R W Cochran-Patrick and J Cleland 1879; NMAS 1892.

At the foot of Hawking Craig is a rock shelter, 6ft high and 8ft wide at the entrance, the cavity being blocked at a depth of about 15ft where the sloping roof meets the clay floor. The "Wishing Well" was not located. Three sherds of pottery from here are on display in the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland (NMAS). Two of these bear traces of a greenish-brown glaze and are similar to Scottish Medieval pottery.

Visited by OS (DS), 12 September 1956.

Previous field report confirmed.

Surveyed at 1:2500.

Visited by OS (JTT), 23 October 1964.

No change.

Visited by OS (JRL), 13 December 1982.


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