Community Archaeology Eaglesham

Eaglesham History Society assisted by members of ACFA carried out a Community Geophysical Survey from the 5th to the 9th June. Pupils from Eaglesham Primary School, Williamwood High School and Mearns Castle High School took part in workshops throughout the week. The geophysical survey workshop for the pupils took place on the Orry ground in front of the Wishing Well Tearoom. In 2011 the remains of a large house together with yards and ancillary buildings were revealed in a previous geophysical survey and it was decided by Peta Glew of Northlight Heritage that this was an ideal area for the students to learn about the theory and principles of geophysics as well as seeing and taking part in scientific demonstrations. The survey allowed pupils to get practical hands-on experience of geophysics, an opportunity not always available in the classroom. Geophysics also provides an opportunity for interdisciplinary learning as it involves the stem subjects of science and mathematics. Students also learnt about laying out grids for archaeological excavations and how to use a total station. Six students from Glasgow University helped with the training of the pupils. Unfortunately the weather conditions were not ideal during these first three days, ranging from very heavy rain and swarms of the midge to dry slightly sunny weather on the Tuesday. However apart from these issues the pupils appeared to have enjoyed themselves and judging by the interest shown by the pupils it was a worthwhile project.

The additional aim of the Eaglesham Orry Community Survey was to try and identify the possible existence of the pre-planned village remains prior to 1769 below today’s turf in front of Eaglesham Church and the area to the right, below the Wishing Well tearoom.

The survey was carried out as part of a week of activities that included workshops from Archaeology Scotland and East Renfrewshire Libraries, and an exhibition.  A fuller account of the week can be found here.

Posted on Categories News

Tiree Horizons

In April 2016 ACFA embarked on a new major project on the island of Tiree, the westernmost of the Inner Hebrides. With the initial aim of identifying possible medieval or Norse settlement sites which are indicated by place-name evidence, a wealth of archaeology has been surveyed during the original visit and in subsequent trips in October 2016 and April 2017 with a future visit planned for April next year.  The interim report for the April 2016 findings can be found here 

Tiree Horizons: Interim Report

Posted on Categories Surveys

Initial Fieldwork in the Irvine Valley



Initial field walking and revisiting of recorded sites along the banks of the Rivers Irvine and Garnock began in January this year as a consequence of the inspiring work carried out by ACFA member Richard Pugh on Dundonald Castle which he is planning to expand into a wider study of the Irvine Valley embracing place name studies and the concentrations of prehistoric and Early Historic activity.

In this work we hope also to complement and revisit the early ACFA Occasional Paper 23 by Jim Mair, Anne Wood and Gerry Hearns of 1996, which has survey plans and descriptions of over thirty sites in the middle valley.

The survey is an occasional walkover convened by a small team on an ad hoc basis and a short presentation was given at the post-Xmas bash which encouraged interest from some further members.

The first study area being covered is along the lower reaches of the River Garnock from which AD 19C antiquarian reports note a rich record of prehistoric cists, cairns, flint scatters, a possible crannog, some Anglo Saxon strap ends and an Arabic dirham. This suggests the tantalising possibility of early beach emporiums in this area of shifting sand dunes, river systems and islands. The Ardeer or Stevenston Sands area has been probably irrevocably compromised by almost a century of Nobel and ICI explosive complexes creating a rapidly deteriorating massive industrial archaeological landscape rapidly being reclaimed by nature.

No formal survey is possible in these circumstances and days out have involved small teams re-visiting those sites which are in the Canmore record, recording their current state, identifying any new sites immediately connected with the river environment and trying work out the topography of this dynamic and scarred landscape.

Contact: Margaret Gardiner, Libby King, Gerry Hearns or Ian Marshall for more Information.


Posted on Categories Surveys