Cammo September and October 2020

The Piggeries in early September

September 7th

Another day of excellent progress in clearing the North enclosure of the Piggery – the attached ‘before’  photo gives some indication of how much vegetation and rubble has been removed. Around half of the fallen stones at the South end wall have now been removed as well as large amounts of crumbled mortar.  A superb effort by all concerned.  A new trench was started beside the East wall revealing the normal slate layer and yielding a number of metal items, stoneware and glass.  Removal of the slates uncovered two short metal rods or bolts, one definitely threaded set into a flagstone, probably part of a base for some kind of machine.

We also found an almost intact section of a fireclay animal feeding trough stamped “Lilliehill Dunfermline”.  This had pieces of roof tile stuck to its edges with cement or concrete so it could possibly have been reused as a ridge covering for a roof.

An interesting find was a clay tobacco pipe stem stamped “I BEG” probably made by J Begg who was active in Edinburgh in 1881.  The North West corner of the enclosure which had a lot of in situ metal items was recorded. Finally a rather unusual item – part of a ceramic garden gnome – was “found” among the rubble.

September 14th & 21st

Most of the larger stones from the main enclosure have now been cleared. We have uncovered a flagstone “machine base” against the East wall which has a large square stone/brick lined pit underneath containing another fireclay ridge tile, much rusty metal, broken flower pots, some glass and nails and a large metal hoop.  We are also continuing to investigate and record the area to the south of the main room.

There have been no “special” finds but an unusual find was a small “hoard” of modern decimal coins in one corner of the enclosure.

September 29th

This Tuesday Ruth turned up a very unusual find. It was a clay tobacco pipe stem marked “L. Fiolet St Omer”  The maker was Louis Fiolet.

Fiolet is the brand and name of a French clay pipe artisan of the 19th century.  The Fiolet factory was in Saint-Omer, Pas-de-Calais. In 1860 the company was still producing over ten million pipes a year.

This is the first French pipe any of those present had ever seen or heard of. The marking is also unusual being across the stem rather than in line.  Other pipes from the same source had “FRANCE” or “DEPOSE” (Patent) added to the marking.

October

In October Covid 19 restrictions were re-imposed and excavation halted.  Later in the month a small work force went to Cammo to maintain the site, as permitted by the Scottish government regulations.