Work restarted in the northern enclosure of the Piggery, clearing more rubble and opening two small trenches, one central and one at the East doorway. We were turning up lots of slate, possibly from a roof or lean-to along with some pottery, stoneware and window glass. We also turned up a lot of sections of fireclay pig trough, stamped “Lilliehill Dunfermline” similar to the one found earlier this year outside the enclosure. The major surprise came late on when we cleared a tree stump to reveal a short section of what looked like gas pipe, most probably acetylene, with a tap on the end. This is intriguing as we did not find any evidence for gas lighting in the Cottages, only some oil lamp parts. Also found was some worked stone including a section with a deep u-shaped channel.
Further investigation has been carried out on the fragments of fireclay animal feeder troughs stamped “Lilliehill Dunfermline”: Lindsay and Anderson operated from 1873 until the 1920s. There is a comprehensive history in the Scottish bricks history website. https://www.scottishbrickhistory.co.uk/lilliehill-fire-clay-works-dunfermline-fife/
First a correction to last week’s report. What we initially thought to be a gas pipe was in fact solid metal, although the “tap” on the end did look quite convincing.
After Monday’s rain there was good weather on Tuesday allowing further progress on the Piggery. Ground conditions were very good – no flooding so work continued in clearing the floor down to fallen slate level and excavating the NE doorway and an area clearer of large stones in the centre of the enclosure.
Finds were a stone with a possible mason’s mark and some stoneware including part of a handle of a large crock, a teapot lid and window and vessel glass.
Most notable was a stamped maker’s disc for a stable safety lamp. The inscription on the disc is possibly “ROWATT’S PATENT SAFETY STABLE LAMP EDINBURGH”.
Thomas Rowatt and sons operated from 1862 to mid 1890’s at Lothian Road and at 126 Fountainbridge in Edinburgh, first as an agent for James Young and later as a manufacturer of oil lamps from 1875. He also had an Oil Works at Kilrenny in Fife.
The NE doorway was cleared to reveal a bitumen floor surface inside the stone doorstep.
We also continued to expose the floor surface to the North, down to the level of the layer of fallen slates, producing some metal finds including a number of metal rods, some with loops or hooks attached, a lock plate, a hasp and two metal bolts complete with nuts. We continued to clear the area outside the West wall of large stones and tree stumps and opened two small sondages (test pits) in the central trench. A further quantity of window glass was recovered and more metal items including another “tap”. Finally two medium sized stone slabs, probably disturbed by tree roots were revealed just to the right of the doorway and a possible window and doorway into the smaller compartment to the North.
A few views of the excavated “Offices” area as they are now.
A further day of good progress at the large enclosure at the North of the Piggery. We began by removing the layer of fallen roof slates to uncover more of the possible bitumen floor surface. It contained a lot of small pieces of rusted metal and more of the metal rods and connections noted earlier as well as some more domestic finds.
These included a pipe stem stamped “T WHITE & CO ED”, a possible stone gaming piece, an oil lamp adjusting screw,
a corner of a dressed stone worktop, part of a glazed floor? tile, a large piece of a range or oven structure and a pulley wheel.
Outside the enclosure wall to the West we turned up a large horse shoe and a metal bracket.
Not a great deal to record this week. Despite persistent rain we carried on with clearing the NW end of the Piggery enclosure, revealing more window glass and flower pot as well as the mouthpiece of a tobacco pipe. Removal of fallen stones continued outside to the West and we removed a few large stones from the interior of the structure nearest the path. The were two “stray” finds, a gear wheel from a clock or similar mechanism and a large hinge from a door or a gate.
Finally as the really serious rain kicked in an in-situ door or gate pivot was found set into the base of the west wall. We retired in good order to the Lodge and then home to dry out.
Another interesting day excavating the North West enclosure of the Piggery. Two enigmatic rusted metal items were uncovered by the West wall (see photos).
Any suggestions as to what they might be will be gratefully received!
Another part of a door lock fitting was found next to them. We also recovered a door hinge pivot which seems to have been deposited in or near a stone filled pit in the NE corner. A badly burned section of a clay pipe stem was found near the centre of the dividing wall along with some window and bottle glass.
We continued to remove more stones from the “room” at the North end, and a test pit revealed buried worked stone. There was also a hinge pin set in the exterior wall at the North west corner but no trace of another gate or door post was found.
Not a massive amount to report this week but we did remove a considerable amount of large stones from the North end room and inside the East wall, one of which had an incised line along one edge. The doorway of the N end room was cleared and a door lock inner part was found with the handle and locking slide intact. We extended the trench at the North end of the main enclosure finding more asphalt floor covering and the usual glass and nails. A test pit in the centre trench was continued in an attempt to locate any earlier soil horizon. A small depression in the asphalt surface was investigated revealing burnt clay, bottle glass, nails and a possible woodscrew..