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St Andrews, 67-69 South Street, St John's House

No Class (Event)

Site Name St Andrews, 67-69 South Street, St John's House

Classification No Class (Event)

Canmore ID 77577

Site Number NO51NW 86.01

NGR NO 5104 1665

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/77577

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

  • Council Fife
  • Parish St Andrews And St Leonards
  • Former Region Fife
  • Former District North East Fife
  • Former County Fife

Archaeology Notes

NO51NW 86 5104 1665.

St Andrews Citizen reported that an excavation was carried out, prior to redevelopment by the University of St Andrews as offices for the Fife Archaeological Index, within the frontage of the ground floor of St John's House (St Andrews Citizen 11 May 1990), by a small team of professional and student archaeologists. This work relates to the study of the medieval development of St Andrews.

Recent use of the property had been for retail, most recently as a barber shop. Archaeological evidence was found for a 19th century milliner and at least one leather worker/cobbler. Considerable numbers of milliner's pins and quantities of leather cut-offs and scraps were found in the upper layers.

The present walls are secondary to the foundations and all have been rebuilt more than once. The W part of the N (rear) wall, built on a demolished wall foundation, incorporated the exterior gable of a building behind the present frontage. In this wall was a blocked doorway, 1.6m wide and 1.8m high. This had well finished chamfered jambs. The lintel was broken, a possible reason for blocking the door, which formerly led into vaulted cellars behind. The W wall had incorporated a massive opening, possibly a fireplace, its broken lintel in situ. This fireplace had been reduced in size to accommodate a cast-iron firegrate of c1850. This was built over the remains of a substantial clay oven.

Traces of earlier window and door openings could be detected in the S wall, but only from the interior. A second clay oven lay below the frontage foundations of the W window.

The front (S) part of the interior had been divided into two small rooms with a passage between. The internal divisions survived on approximately the same line through several modifications. The W room, with the fireplace, appeared to be of greater importance than that on the E, where there was evidence of wattle walls and trampled floors.

The latter were associated with a thin scatter of pottery sherds of 12th to 13th century types. The earliest levels of the site incorporated stake and post holes, most with plank or post/stakes surviving. There were very few finds from the occupation levels or features.

Sponsors: University of St Andrews and North East Fife District Council. C A Kelly and E Proudfoot 1990a; FAI 1991.

During excavation of the ground floor the building was found to require repair and strengthening. All lintels, beams, ceiling joists from the ground floor were removed and have been retained for study; most are reused, probably roof timbers.

A probable internal spiral stair was found leading to the first floor. On the first floor remains of early paint were found on the S wall.

Only one reused architectural fragment was found, a roll moulding, much damaged, but probably of 16th century date.

Photographs with Fife Archaeological Index. FAI: 6/83.

Sponsor: Fife Archaeological Index.

E Proudfoot 1992.

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