I am Alison Clark, a trainee at RCAHMS. The site I have chosen is Craigie House and Park, just outside Ayr. The aerial photograph below looks towards the park, just beyond the tenements, now taken up by the caravan park, playing fields and a sports stadium.
A-listed Craigie House was built c1730 for Sir Thomas Wallace, and sold in 1783 to William Campbell, who had made a fortune in India. It is a fine example of 18th century mansion architecture, now used as a business center. Elements of the wooded estate and formal gardens still survive and are managed by Ayrshire council.
It is the wooded estate gardens which led me to make my choice. My father is from Ayr and actually met my mother at Craigie teaching college. As a child the park was a frequent haunt for us as a family and I hope by offering this brief introduction the gardens may become a new stomping ground for a few more families.
RCAHMS has a vast collection of material available to the public through the database Canmore.
For Craigie House, two images available on Canmore show how the House and Estate have developed over the years, with the contrast between the architecture of the original House and the College being particularly obvious.
There are other relevant documents on Canmore for those wishing to undertake research into the original House and Estate including items such as information relating to the stables and doocot which were demolished to make way for the new college building along with the architectural plans for the college.
As part of our traineeship here, the Collections trainees will be undertaking some training in the process of digitisation of documents to make them available to the public through Canmore. This involves the copying of photographs and other records by our professional photographers at RCAHMS, and we will be able to gain some experience in the processing of the material to ensure the images can appear on the database. Those items which have been digitised are then available to view online Material which has not been digitised will still be available to view in the RCAHMS Search Room, using the references provided.
This is what I’ve chosen for Day of Archaeology, but why not tell us your favourite archaeological sites in Scotland on Twitter using #MyArchaeology.