Font Size

100% 150% 200%

Background Colour

Default Contrast
Close Reset


Kiln (Period Unassigned)(Possible), Pit (Period Unassigned), Bead, Microlith(S), Unidentified Flint(S) (Flint)

Site Name Cramond

Classification Kiln (Period Unassigned)(Possible), Pit (Period Unassigned), Bead, Microlith(S), Unidentified Flint(S) (Flint)

Alternative Name(s) Edinburgh, Cramond

Canmore ID 81320

Site Number NT17NE 91

NGR NT 1899 7697

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

C14 Radiocarbon Dating


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

Toggle Aerial | View on large map

Administrative Areas

  • Council Edinburgh, City Of
  • Parish Edinburgh (Edinburgh, City Of)
  • Former Region Lothian
  • Former District City Of Edinburgh
  • Former County Midlothian

Archaeology Notes

NT17NE 91 1899 7697

The building of the 17th-century Cramond village would appear to have involved a considerable amount of levelling just above the 15m late-glacial raised beach, with the result that disturbed cobbling associated with the old village street directly overlay a large assemblage of mesolithic flints. Microliths, a microburin, and micro blade platform-cores have been identified. The only possible Roman feature noted was a small post hole cut into this deposit. A large pit lay in this area and had been filled with Roman and late medieval rubbish. A post-medieval gunflint was found, suggesting the possibility of contemporary knapping of imported chalk-flint nodules.

N of this a horseshoe-shaped stone bank containing fire-reddened stones, 3m in width with a 0.80m central area, may be a kiln or oven. No dating evidence for this has been found so far. A spread of charcoal-rich soil and ash, containing 18th-century material, overlay it, and was in turn covered by remnants of gravel and mortar surfaces. Set into the uppermost surface was a domed stone, possibly an anvil, its tip showing signs of chipping. Around it were scraps of slag, iron and lead. A steep-sided clay-bottomed trench cut all but the uppermost of these layers, this may have been a water supply to the adjacent 19th-century kennels.

Sponsors: City of Edinburgh District Council, Archaeology Service; Edinburgh Archaeological Field Society.

V E Dean 1993.

This area is partially developed. It has clearly a high potential for prehistoric, Roman and later finds and the existence of a Roman fort at Cramond is well known. The area is back from the coastal edge and so is not strictly within the scope of this study. Yet it clearly has great potential and should be closely monitored.

Site recorded by GUARD during the Coastal Assessment Survey for Historic Scotland, 'The Firth of Forth from Dunbar to the Coast of Fife' 26th February 1996.


Excavation (1995 - 1995)

NT 1899 7698. Deposits containing Mesolithic struck lithics, identified during excavations undertaken by the Edinburgh Archaeological Field Society (V Dean 1993), were further investigated. The trenches (D and E) were located close to the edge of the raised beach to the N of the Roman Fort.

Trench D measured 4.50m by 2.00m. The removal of a 0.34m lithic-rich deposit revealed a large sub-circular pit (1.55m in diameter) and a sequence of smaller pits cutting into the subsoil. The deposits within the pits contained concentrations of lithics and carbonised hazlenut shells. A spread of stake holes was also identified, all quite uniform in diameter and depth, but with no obvious patterning. A further cluster of stake holes formed an elongated oval group.

Trench E measured 4.50m by 2.00m. Although cut away by two post-medieval pits in the northern half and the SE corner of the trench a deposit up to 0.11m identical to that in trench D was excavated, again containing large quantities of struck lithic material. After its removal a small sub-circular pit and eight small stake holes were visible cut into subsoil. The limited number and distribution of the stake holes did not allow any interpretation.

More than 2500 struck lithics (flint, chert, quartz, agate) were recovered from the two trenches. A small stone bead was also found.

Sponsor: City of Edinburgh District Council Archaeology Service.

D Reed 1995.

Plant Remains (October 2000)

Large quantities of carbonised hazelnut shell were recovered from Mesolithic from Mesolithic deposits discovered at Crammond, near Edinburgh. The hazelnut shell was concentrated in and around the fills of two pits discovered in Trench D.

The distribution of hazelnut shell in and surrounding the two pits does suggest an association between the pits and the hazelnut shell and it is clear that at some point the pits have filled with nutshell-rich material. It is, however, unclear from the archaeological record whether this was a result of deliberate backfilling or the accumulation of material in the pits through natural processes.

Taking into account the ethnographical and archaeological evidence the closet parallels to the Cramond pits are the roasting pits or pit ovens that have been identified on other European Mesolithic sites.

Information from headland Archaeology Ltd.


MyCanmore Image Contributions

Contribute an Image

MyCanmore Text Contributions