Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Walkover Survey

Throughout the week we learned various means of surveying the land, so that we could choose one to focus on for our portfolio. Walkover survey was fantastic. I had pretty much decided to do standing building survey, but it was a hard choice, because walkover survey was so compelling.

We were taken to the land owned by the Rollos. Much of Dunning and its environs have been owned by the Rollo family since medieval times. Past Keltie Castle, near Lawbank Burn, we walked along lanes through farmers fields. Before we started, Michael Given (who is my advisor) and Tessa Poller (one of the archaeologists in charge of the field school) talked to us about landscape archaeology - and they told us to look around us and try and learn from what we saw. The path up which we had just walked was somewhat deep, with a bank lined with trees on one side of it. Someone pointed this out, and Michael said that probably that portion of the path had been in use since late medieval times! 

Then we walked into one of the fields, 20 metres apart, and walked through the field, looking for any visible signs of archaeology.

The late medieval pathway.

A wee frog!
After walking through a couple of fields, our group broke up. Some people went with Michael back down towards Keltie Castle and some areas where industrial work had taken place. Others of us went with Tessa and Chris Dalglish (another Glasgow Uni staff member who joined us) in search of an old farmstead. We had a copy of the 1st edition Ordnance Survey Map (1862) and a farmstead was shown at the edge of  Gun Wood. It was shown as having no roofs left, so had been abandoned. We then climbed up the hill, through a barbed-wire fence, and walked around, in search of any remains of this farmstead. And we found the remains of a building - though it was hard to see. It looked more like a clump of vegetation, but we ferreted out a few stones here and there. We wrote down some details on context sheets, and then we made our way over to Baadhead farm.

On top of the remains of the building. Possibly a house?

There was a small quarry nearby.
 We then spent a little while walking around Baadhead farm. It was quite affecting, as Tessa told us that it had recently been abandoned - that sometimes the cottages were used as shelter by hunters, but nothing more. She said one day these building would become like the one we'd just found. That already the farm had become part of the archaeological record. 
Approaching the farm - one of the cottages is on the left.

The letter-slot and knocker on one of the cottage doors.

A curious rounded barn wall - it wasn't completely circular, though.

The other side of the barn.

Inside one of the barns.


  1. You're going to be so sick of me! But this is AMAZING!!! <3

  2. How sad about the abandoned farm! The barn is really beautiful.