Issue 142

Newsletter – Issue 142, April 2003


As always we are having a fascinating winter of talks on a wide diversity of subjects, but now we have only two more before the summer break – on Wednesday, 16th April John Lawson will be bringing us up to date on Current Archaeology in Edinburgh while on Tuesday, 20th May Douglas Spiers will be doing the same for Fife.


1) Preston, East Lothian
The Society will be visiting Preston, East Lothian on Saturday, 26th April 2003. Amongst the many late medieval sites on view are the Mercat Cross, Preston Tower, Hamilton House, Northfield House, and, for the more energetic, the Parish Church.
2) Borthwick Castle
Arrangements have been made to visit this castle at 15.00 hrs on Friday, 16th May 2003. Now a hotel and conference centre, this is a massive double tower house in an excellent state of preservation dating back to the 15th century. For those who are particularly enthusiastic, the village boasts a beautiful medieval church (keys available from an adjacent house).

Harken Burn, Castlehill Survey Penicuik

The survey of this possible motte and bailey site has begun with a topographic survey based on two survey stations, one at either end of the ridge on which the ‘castle’ stands. The base line between these two stations is also being used to locate the 20 by 20 metre squares of the ground resistance survey, which is now running in parallel with the topography.

Broughton Market

All the finds from recent Cramond excavations have now been catalogued, but members have been helping John Lawson, the City Archaeology Officer, by marking up pottery from some Leith excavations. Work on this is suspended meanwhile, because of the following …

Ronaldson’s Wharf Excavation at Leith

The Society has been asked to assist at this excavation by washing, sorting and marking the finds. The excavation will start on 1st April and continue until the end of May. coverage to the Archaeology, the Designed Landscape, Historic Buildings, Trees and Woodland, and Flora and Fauna. It met with a favourable response and contained some interesting proposals.

Excavation Of Roman Sites At Cramond, Edinburgh, by Nicholas Holmes

Nick Holmes’ report on his excavations at Cramond from 1975 to 1981 has been launched as Society of Antiquaries of Scotland Monograph 23. It deals with the Roman Bathhouse, discovered in 1975 during the creation of the new public car park, which is of national importance. Another important site is the Industrial Complex in the Walled Garden where the high water table preserved leather and timber artefacts. The fort defences were examined in the Manse gardens, alongside the driveway to Cramond House, and in the front garden of Cramond Tower. Nick has generously presented a signed copy of the Monograph to the Society, and it will be available from the library.

Book Review – The Fast Castle Report

The report of the excavations at Fast Castle 1971-1986 was reviewed in the recent Independent Archaeology Newsletter. Comments included ‘Its effectiveness as a final report can be judged as it was submitted for the British Archaeological Pitt Rivers Award where it carried off first place’, ‘an academically valuable report’ and ‘a volume to grace the shelves of anyone interested in Medieval Castles’.
Copies are still available at £10, p&p extra.