Newsletter – Issue 152, March 2005
Outings (from Bill MacLennan)
Proposed visit to two old churches
On the north side of the High Street of South Queensferry there is a little jewel of a church that was built in 1461 to support a Carmelite Priory. Excavation revealed the foundations of the Priory buildings but little remains on the surface. Despite the fact that it has gone through a number of restorations much of it is as it was 550 years ago and St Mary’s provides a delightful setting for its current use as the local Episcopalian Church.
Some distance to the west there is Abercorn Church. Most of it dates from the 16th century though there is a blocked entrance with a Norman arch. The most interesting feature on the site is a small museum containing cross slabs and grave markers from as early as the 10th century. There are also hog backed stones designed by the Vikings. Even earlier than this there were the followers of St Ninian who established a community here in the 6th century.
The visit will start at 2.00pm on Friday, 15th April outside the front door of the Episcopalian Church. There is plenty of parking space if you take the next road to the west into a large car park. It would be appreciated if we could all be on time since members of the congregation are opening the church for us.
Once we are finished there, travel west out of South Queensferry and join the A904 at the roundabout over the M90 and head towards Bo’ness for about two miles before turning to the right onto an undesignated road at Woodend. Turn to the left at Parkhead and this should take you to Abercorn.
On Tuesday, 19th April we have Geoff Bailey on The Home Front in Falkirk and District, 1939-1945, and then, the last one before the summer break, on Tuesday, 17th May Fraser Hunter is talking on Life on the Roman Frontier – Recent Excavations at Inveresk and Cramond.
Excavation at Castlehill, Penicuik
Two preliminary sessions have taken place on the site at Penicuik; the first entailed taking a lot more EDM readings to record the NE slope of the hill, and the second cleared that slope of tons of dead wood. Clearing the wood out of the way means we can make a final resistance survey, albeit on a very sloping area of ground, to see whether there are any features on this side of the castle.
The second session was also used to remove the blue covers and accumulation of winter rubbish from the trench and the southern paved area.
On Sunday, 3rd April starting at 10.30am we hope to resume excavations and to have enough members present to complete the ground resistance survey.