This August four members of the society took part in the National Trust for Scotland Archaeology Thistle Camp at Castle Fraser. This was a ten-day working holiday with the work being led by NTS Archaeologist Dr Daniel Rhodes. The work that we took part in consisted of excavating ground next to the castle in the hope of uncovering evidence of lost features from the medieval period such as gardens, yards and buildings.
During our time at Castle Fraser the NTS had organised an open weekend where families could come along and take part in the excavations. We opened a number of test pits for the public to work in and it turned out to be a very successful and enjoyable weekend with about 90 visitors on Saturday and just less than that on Sunday. The weather was kind to us and the children especially had a great time discovering ‘treasure’.
The initial excavation in trench 1 revealed very little apart from a possible ditch but after the weekend when a couple of the test pits were extended, field stone walls in trenches 2 and 3 were uncovered with a possible cobbled pathway running alongside the wall in trench 3. A collection of unstratified finds were recovered including small flakes of flint, small pieces of clay pipe, a handmade brick, parts of many bottles, pottery, glass pieces and roof slates.