Lionel Masters Lochill and Slewcairn

Alison Sheridan, eminent Neolithic expert and friend of ACFA, following the death of Lionel Masters undertook to bring his work at the early Neolithic cairns of Lochill and Slewcairn to publication. She and other colleagues have produced this interim account/report of the excavations which you can read here. ACFA is indebted to her, her colleagues and funders, all noted in the paper, for their support in recognising Lionel’s work on these important sites in Dumfries and Galloway.

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Meikle Dripps Waulk Mill

Up to our ankles in water

Survey Director of the Thorntonhall project, Susan Hunter, and members Ian Marshall, Janie Munro and Christine McDiarmid carried out a drawn survey of a rare site, a waulk mill. The mill on the River Cart was last recorded in use in 1830 but may date from as early as the 17th century. Consisting of a lade and two buildings, the mill and a possible house, the site lies on a flood plain and is in a ruinous condition. Waulk mills used the power of water to operate hammers that pounded cloth or leather to process and soften it. View more pictures in the Gallery.

View along the length of the mill building
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Newsletter Archive

Up until now only members have had the privilege of accessing our newsletters but we have decided we can’t keep all the fun to ourselves. Recent newsletters will still only be available to members, a perk of membership if you like, but here is our newsletter archive, a treasure house of personal reminiscences, reviews, essays and much more – lose yourself.

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Winter Zoom Talks 2023

A new series of online lectures began with Eddie Stewart’s talk Past the Shieling, through the town. Watch it here.

Dates for future talks available in Events.

The second of this year’s Zoom talks was given by Colin Davenport from Bannockburn House Trust on the archaeology of the grounds of the house. Watch it here

See all our previous Zoom talks on our Youtube channel

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Annual General Meeting 2022

It was a great pleasure to be able to hold our first in-person AGM for two years. There was a good attendance and the formal part of the event passed uneventfully including the approval of the meeting for the recommendations from the short-life working group for the future development of ACFA. Great enthusiasm was demonstrated for the proposal of sub-committees looking at publicity and recruitment, and training with a number of people coming forward to join them.

After an excellent buffet lunch there were the customary presentations by members of recent archaeological activity. Dugie MacInnes updated us on the Tiree, Halterburn and Luing surveys, Ailsa Smith gave a presentation on the Hynish Lines project, Susan Hunter showed highlights from the ongoing survey at Thorntonhall and Irene Dayer talked about a previously unrecorded rock art and extraction site near Balfron which she has worked on as part of her Masters’ studies at Glasgow University.

Photography Competition Results

This year’s overall winner, and recipient of the ACFA Quaich, was Chris Morrison.

The Archaeology of an Archaeologist: Ruins of Vallay House on the tidal island of Vallay, North Uist

Category winners were Simon Davies, Drone (top left), Christine McDiarmid, Humour (top right), Fred Hay, International (bottom left), and Chris Morrison, Home (bottom right).

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