trainees

William Wyeth (RCAHMS) – Stirling

Stirling ‘Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2011’

Stirling ‘Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2011’

I’m William Wyeth, one of four Education & Outreach trainees based at RCAHMS in the year-long Skills for the Future programme. My year at the Commission is split between different parts of RCAHMS’ work (Scran, social media, a university module, etc), as well as an external three-month placement. My placement was itself split between Stirling Castle and the Bannockburn Heritage Centre. I’ve chosen the undiscovered site of the second day of the battle of Bannockburn. The battle itself was a pivotal moment in Scottish history, which combines elements of mythology as much as fact. The physical remains of the battle, however, are almost non-existent; thus far, a single 14th-century arrowhead has been found, which may not be linked to the battle in any case. There is no doubt that the battle of 1314 CE took place somewhere around today’s Bannock burn, but frustratingly efforts by archaeologists and metal detectors to locate any evidence in the ground have been unsuccessful.

Since the battle, the area between the Pelstream and Bannock burns (where it is considered the second day of the clash took place) has been used as a ploughed field and dump site for building waste from different periods. Today, the area is largely wild grass, sitting between 20th-century suburban housing and the railway line from Edinburgh to Stirling.

View of the Big Dig. Copyright Aisha Al-Sadie

View of the Big Dig. Copyright Aisha Al-Sadie

I’ve chosen the undiscovered battlefield because it represents the challenge to historians and archaeologists in determining the developments on the ground during this critical day in Scottish history. It has also recently been the focus of a Big Dig in June 2013, which saw fantastic community involvement aimed at establishing the site of the second day’s battle. Part of the activities on the site was filmed for an upcoming TV show produced to celebrate the 700-year anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn.

Filming the Big Dig, with Tony Pollard and Neil Oliver. Copyright Aisha Al-Sadie

Filming the Big Dig, with Tony Pollard and Neil Oliver. Copyright Aisha Al-Sadie

 

 

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.

 

For more information on this site, or others in this area you can also go to the Historic Environment Record for Stirling Council.

Contact Details:

Murray Cook

Municipal Buildings, Corn Exchange, Stirling, FK8 2HU

01786 233663

Email: archaeology@stirling.gov.uk

Web: http://www.stirling.gov.uk/services/business-and-trade/planning-and-building-standards/archaeology

Searchable HER: http://my.stirling.gov.uk/archaeology_maps

 

Kayleigh Russell and Louise Rogers (RCAHMS) – Clackmannanshire

The Skills for the Future Trainees, RCAHMS

The Skills for the Future Trainees, RCAHMS

Clackmannanshire. ‘Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2011’

Clackmannanshire. ‘Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2011’

As Collections Trainees we tend not to deal directly with archaeology in the conventional sense. We do, however, get to work with the archives created by archaeological units. We recently worked on the material created by the programme of excavations and buildings recordings for the Upper Forth Crossing in 2006 by Headland Archaeology Ltd. The Upper Forth Crossing is now known as the Clackmannanshire Bridge which links Falkirk to Clackmannanshire.

A typical archaeological archive consists of items such as photographs, slides, drawings, reports and site notes. Before cataloguing the Upper Forth Crossing material deposited at RCAHMS we organised the archive into order by project and area. We then worked our way through the deposited material separating the different types of media and re-housing it.

© RCAHMS

Copyright RCAHMS by K Russell, Collections Trainee.

© RCAHMS

Copyright RCAHMS by L Rogers, Collections Trainee.

 

 

 

 

 

 

While doing this we also read through some of the reports and site notes to get more information on the projects to add to the catalogue entries and to get a better understanding of the excavations for the crossing. We found the investigations into the remains of Garlet House, Kilbagie were particularly interesting.

Garlet House was a 17th century house for a local Laird which had been demolished in 1964. Looking through the photographs in the archive we could see the progress of the excavations. Before the excavation the site looked like an overgrown field, but very quickly the house was uncovered.

© Headland Archaeology Ltd

© Headland Archaeology Ltd (UFC05-GLT001a)

As the dig progressed some of the features of the house became visible again.

Copyright Headland Archaeology Ltd (100_0043)

Copyright Headland Archaeology Ltd (100_0043)

Copyright Headland Archaeology Ltd (100_0043.)

Copyright Headland Archaeology Ltd (100_0043.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

To find out more about the site we looked up the site record for Garlet House on Canmore and we were able to see some of the images of the house prior to demolition and compare them to the photographs taken on the excavation in 2006.

© Headland Archaeology Ltd

Copyright Headland Archaeology Ltd (100_0041.)

Gartlet House in the 1940’s © RCAHMS

Garlet House in the 1940’s Copyright RCAHMS (SC1167941)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Through the archaeological archive and the images and plans held at RCAHMS we were able to get a sense of the development of the site from its original design to alterations through the years, even after its demolition.

If you would like to find out more about the collections held on Canmore or the Skills for the Future programme visit our blog or Twitter @SkillsRCAHMS.

 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.