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Perth, 80-6 High Street

No Class (Event)

Site Name Perth, 80-6 High Street

Classification No Class (Event)

Canmore ID 72528

Site Number NO12SW 241

NGR NO 1189 2362

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

C14 Radiocarbon Dating

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/72528

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Administrative Areas

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

Archaeology Notes

NO12SW 241 1189 2362

For tenements and shops at this address, see NO12SW 217.

Excavations were carried out by SUAT (supervised by Colm Moloney) between June and October 1992.

Phase 1: The earliest activity on the site consisted of a large V-shaped wattle lined ditch which ran across the site from E-W and terminated at the E edge of the excavation.

Phase 2: Initial pottery research indicated that the ditch was backfilled and the High Street surface, which extends 2m into the site, was sonstructed some time in the 12th century. The wattle boundaries for three burgage plots were identified. These contained insubstantial timber structures which fronted onto the High Street.

Phase 3: Subsequently the site became vacant and large rubbish pits were dug at the frontage, possibly the result of economic decline.

Phase 4: After a period of dumping on the site, timber structures were again constructed on the various properties. A gravel vennel ran S from the High Street between the E and central properties. Substantial pits were cut inside the structures; possibly storage pits. At the rear of these buildings massive rubbish pits filled with industrial refuse were excavated. Leather and metal working played a prominent part in the economy of the site at this time.

Sponsors: Historic Scotland; United Biscuits Pension Fund; Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust; Perth and Kinross Common Good Fund.

C J Moloney 1992d.

The excavations described above are now thought to have revealed evidence for some of the earliest activity in the town.

Although only 1m in width, the Phase 1 ditch noted above was over 2m deep and lined with oak brushwood. It did not appear to be defensive, but it may have acted as a boundary to the early settlement or as a precinct boundary around St John's Kirk.

The brushwood lining to the ditch provided a means by which the feature could be radiocarbon dated, which in this instance was to between 998 and 1039 cal AD (990 +/- 50 bp). The earliest Scottish burghs, including Perth, date back to charters issued during the reign of David I (1124-1153). Such evidence of pre-burghal activity has implications not only for the origins of Perth, but also for urban origins in Scotland as a whole.

Sponsors: United Biscuits Pension Investments Ltd, Historic Scotland, Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust, Perth and Kinross Common Good Fund.

R Sermon 1993.

Activities

Excavation (June 1992 - October 1992)

Excavations were carried out by SUAT (supervised by Colm Moloney) between June and October 1992.

Phase 1: The earliest activity on the site consisted of a large V-shaped wattle lined ditch which ran across the site from E-W and terminated at the E edge of the excavation.

Phase 2: Initial pottery research indicated that the ditch was backfilled and the High Street surface, which extends 2m into the site, was sonstructed some time in the 12th century. The wattle boundaries for three burgage plots were identified. These contained insubstantial timber structures which fronted onto the High Street.

Phase 3: Subsequently the site became vacant and large rubbish pits were dug at the frontage, possibly the result of economic decline.

Phase 4: After a period of dumping on the site, timber structures were again constructed on the various properties. A gravel vennel ran S from the High Street between the E and central properties. Substantial pits were cut inside the structures; possibly storage pits. At the rear of these buildings massive rubbish pits filled with industrial refuse were excavated. Leather and metal working played a prominent part in the economy of the site at this time.

Sponsors: Historic Scotland; United Biscuits Pension Fund; Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust; Perth and Kinross Common Good Fund.

C J Moloney 1992d.

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