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Blackness Castle

Cist (Period Unassigned)(Possible), Cremation(S) (Period Unassigned), Inhumation (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Blackness Castle

Classification Cist (Period Unassigned)(Possible), Cremation(S) (Period Unassigned), Inhumation (Period Unassigned)

Canmore ID 49519

Site Number NT08SE 9

NGR NT 0545 8010

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

C14 Radiocarbon Dating


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2019.

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Administrative Areas

  • Council Falkirk
  • Parish Bo'ness And Carriden
  • Former Region Central
  • Former District Falkirk
  • Former County West Lothian

Archaeology Notes

NT08SE 9 0545 8010.

(NT 0545 8010) Bronze Age Burials found (NAT)

OS 25"map, (1955)

The custodian of Blackness Castle reports that two "burials" were found (presumably in 1944-5) when digging a ditch on the crest of the ridge which has Blackness Castle at its end. One grave (presumably a cist, though no description is given), contained the cremated remains of an adult and child, while the other contained the in- humed remains of two adults, accompanied by a food vessel which was donated to the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland (NMAS), the human remains being sent to Professor Low.

A Low 1946.

The site of these burials is probably at NT 0545 8010, where there are some small "earthworks" (remains of a wartime military post) and where probably the ditch referred to above was dug. The area is covered in rough pasture and furze.

The present custodian is not the person who discovered the burials; the custodian at that time was not found.

No further information.

Visited by OS (J L D) 19 January 1953.

No more precise a siting can be established for the burials. No further information.

Visited by OS (J P) 14 March 1974.

Two burials were found when digging a ditch, one with a food vessel, in 1944-5. The site is thought to be at this location where a 2WW military post was constructed. There is no further information available.

Site recorded by GUARD during the Coastal Assessment Survey for Historic Scotland, 'The Firth of Forth from Dunbar to the Coast of Fife' 24th February 1996..

Architecture Notes

See also: NT08SE 6.00 Blackness Castle( for more negatives of excavations)


Geophysical Survey (2010)

NT 0545 8010 A survey of the field immediately to the SW of the mound outside the castle enclosure was undertaken in 2010. Kite aerial photography in the near infra-red revealed numerous anomalies on the south-western side of the field. These anomalies, which appear to cut through earlier ones, may be associated with previous excavations and the ‘remains of a wartime military post’ (NT08SE 9).

A ground resistance survey carried out over ten 20 x 20m grids recorded a number of anomalies. An area of high resistance with an inverted L-shaped feature to the W, within a sub-circular low resistance hollow, was recorded in the top middle grid. Farther to the W an area of lower resistance formed a series of irregular shapes. To the SE of this area a low resistance linear feature was recorded running across the entire survey area to the S. This feature then appeared to turn to the SW and returns back N to the irregular shaped area.

Numerous low resistance anomalies that could represent pits were recorded across the survey area.

The area has been identified as possibly containing enclosures, funerary features, cultivation terraces and the

remains of military defences. The numerous intercutting anomalies make this a very interesting multi-period site of exciting archaeological potential.

Archive: Historic Scotland, Falkirk Council and RCAHMS

Funder: West Lothian Archaeology Group

Jim Knowles – West Lothian Archaeology Group

Watching Brief (12 June 2013)

NT 0547 8013 A small trench was excavated on 12 June 2013 to allow the installation of a March stone near the SW corner of St Ninian’s Chapel, the remains of which sit on the flat summit of Castle Hill to the SW of Blackness Castle. Nothing of archaeological interest was recorded during the excavation.

Archive: RCAHMS (intended)

Funder: Historic Scotland

Paul Fox, Kirkdale Archaeology, 2013

(Source: DES)


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