Newsletter – Issue 144, August 2003
Nothing now until we start again on 15th October with Ian Suddaby on Ballyproir Beg, an Unenclosed Platform Settlement in Ireland. The Committee is working on the 2004 lecture programme and would welcome any suggestions from members on topics or lecturers.
Outing to Chesters, Drem and Gullane on Saturday, 6th September
There will be an outing to an Iron Age fort, a castle and a Medieval church. It will start at 2.00pm at the designated parking space on the farm track leading to Chesters fort. The track runs off a minor road between the B1377, B1343 and A1 – the map reference of the fort is NT507782. This fort is one of the most impressive in southern Scotland with multiple ramparts and ditches and a large number of round houses (see Feachem’s Guide to Prehistoric Scotland for more details).
From there we shall drive to Gullane to visit the remains of the Medieval church that lies to the north of the west end of the main road through the town. This small building gives a clear idea of the design of the smaller churches of this period. Then we will go to Saltcoats castle (NT486819), which is about 400m south of the west end of the main street. Originally this was an impressive courtyard building surrounded by a number of ranges (Mike Salter’s Discovering Scottish Castles has brief details).
Cramond Campus (formerly Dunfermline College of Physical Education)
Demolition of the remaining buildings and clearance of the resultant rubble is well under way. A number of trees have also had to be felled and the timber moved nearer to the main entrance. It’s a sad sight.
AOC Archaeology Group has been given the contract to undertake excavation of a large area of the site and preliminary work has already started. The Society has been asked to assist with the artifact cleaning and a portacabin will be provided at the Campus entrance for this purpose.
As heavy machinery is constantly moving around the grounds, Health and Safety provisions do not allow for volunteer participation on the site itself. There will, however, be an Open Day for visitors to the site, probably with an interpretative display in the portacabin. This will be around the end of August or early September.
So, we are looking for volunteers to assist with the cleaning and bagging of the finds over the next few weeks. Although no digging will be involved, you will be working with earth-covered bits of sharp pottery, broken glass and rusty iron – so do make sure your tetanus shots are up-to-date. We already have a few names resulting from the appeal in the last Newsletter, but would be glad of more offers. Would you like to help?
Resistance Survey at Eddleston
We will be doing a ground resistance survey over a circular ‘enclosure’ cropmark at Cloich, NE of Eddleston on Saturday, 2nd August (which means, weather permitting, it will be completed before this Newsletter is out). A further investigation of a site near Leadburn will follow later in the year.