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Stevenston, Ardeer

Souterrain (Prehistoric)(Possible)

Site Name Stevenston, Ardeer

Classification Souterrain (Prehistoric)(Possible)

Alternative Name(s) Ardeer Recreation Club

Canmore ID 41069

Site Number NS24SE 23

NGR NS 2711 4193

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/41069

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

  • Council North Ayrshire
  • Parish Stevenston
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Cunninghame
  • Former County Ayrshire

Archaeology Notes

NS24SE 23 2711 4193

(NS 2711 4193) Cove (NAT) (Passage shown, certainly not subterranean).

OS 25" map (1856)

This object is considered to be artifical, formerly used in connection with coal workings.

Name Book 1856

This structure, now partly under a road was revealed in 1973 during building operations. It was excavated by J Hunter, though it had been partially excavated in 1960 by ICI workers, then filled in with slag and rubble. Remains of a dressed stone frame for an iron grille over a hole in the cave roof suggested its use as a grotto in the 19th century. The visible remains suggested a souterrain, but the absence of records of these in SW Scotland make this conclusion difficult to accept.

A passage (see plan) lined with corbelled drystone walling, roofed with capstones, led into the natural cave. The passage, cut into a 30ft raised beach, was between 13m and 16m long; its width varied from 1.55m to 1.20m, and height from 1.7m to 2.4m due to the uneven rock floor. The capstones were 1.0m to 1.5m below present ground surface. Some areas of undistrubed stratified deposits were found. These contained evidence of occupation - a hearth with iron slag, bones, and a fragment of (Roman ?) glass.

Hunter concludes that although there is no decisive evidence to date the site, the overall pattern of findings, both as regards the structure itself and the occupation refuse, conforms to the Angus souterrains, the natural cave replacing the terminal bulge often found.

J Hunter 1973; 1975

This alleged souterrain was examined by the Investigator in July 1973 when it was exposed, and it would appear that the passage (as described above) had been covered by made-up debris and earth, and that the raised beach face is in line with the entrance to the cave. Although not a feature connected industrial workings (ONB), it is not inconceivable that in view of its situation close to a former mansion, that it was built as a grotto- a theory born out by some local opinion. Such features are not unknown in Ayrshire (cf Kelburn: NS 217 567).

Information from OS (JLD) 31 May 1974.

Subsequent to its exposure and excavation in 1973, the entrance to the passage was blocked with rubble, and the area on the S raised flush with the passage roof level. The roadway then constructed passes to the S of the former entrance, leaving the rubble blocking still evident. The site falls within the grounds of Ardeer Recreation Club.

Visited by OS (JRL) 7 October 1982.

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