Due to ongoing concerns over Covid-19 the 2021 AGM was once again held online. Members approved the accounts and the re-appointment of committee members and office bearers. After the formal business updates presented by Elaine Black (Tiree/Ben Hynish), Fred Hay (Eric Cregeen archive), Susan Hunter (Broom, Thorntonhall and Kirkhill surveys) and Dugie MacInnes (Halter Burn Valley).
The winners of the online photo competition were announced at the AGM. The Humour category was won by Christine MacDiarmid for her photo “We’re going to need a bigger trowel”. Janie Munro won the Home category with “Machrie Moor II”, the International category was won by Ewen Smith with “A Maoi looks to his birthplace” and Simon Davies won the Still by Drone category with his image of a shieling site. The overall winner was Janie Munro. Congratulations to you all.
Twenty five members and partners had fun exploring the archaeology of Arran. Sites visited included King’s Cross Dun and Viking Grave, the stone circles of Machrie Moor, King’s Caves, Torrylinn and Auchengallon cairns and the Drumadoon enclosure where members debated the status of a stone – standing stone or cattle rubbing stone. Finds of Neolithic pottery and its proximity to the recently excavated cursus brought the weight of opinion down on standing stone.
Our first Zoom talk was a exploration of the archaeology of Ben Hynish, Tiree from member Dugie MacInnes. A chronological account of features recorded during ACFA’s surveys, Dugie’s talk covered features from putative Mesolithic rock shelters through Neolithic and Bronze Age cairns, Iron Age duns to 19th and 20th century agricultural remains.
Coming up are:
March 11 7.30pm Kenneth Tomory “The Farms of the Dukes of Hamilton, through the rental records of the Hamilton estate.
One of our newest members is Simon Davies from South Uist. He has worked recording areas of the island since retiring producing some interesting results. His most recent work is an examination of Triallabreac agus na h-eileanan eile Port Pheadair (Triallabreac and the other islands of Petersport, Benbecula) which you can read below. We look forward to future collaborations with Simon.
ACFA member Ross Wallace’s MRes thesis: Leaving a Mark on History is the fruit of four years of intensive survey and analysis of medieval mason marks from central and southern Scotland. Ross was assisted by fellow members of ACFA, GAS, and many students of archaeology at Glasgow University.
Sites at which ACFA was particularly involved included Paisley and Crossraguel Abbeys and most intensively at Glasgow Cathedral, plus Crookston and Bothwell Castles. Among many happy memories most special are the days in Glasgow Cathedral in winter as the visitors departed and we worked in the silence and dusk with hand torches and record sheets, drawing, photographing and recording in the aisles, chapels, nave and choir, then up through the turret stairs, clerestories and triforium galleries. Privileged access to areas unknown to the public and best of all – one spring morning, when, with the cathedral’s head stonemason, we were taken out on to the roof of the choir with heart-stopping views over the Necropolis, Glasgow and the hills to the north and south.
Ross hopes that this corpus proves useful – only volume one, more work hopefully next summer- if only as a reference hand tool for any mason marks in your own part of the country encountered in your archaeological wanderings.
Recording team at Crookston Castle, Ross Wallace, centre. Photo Ian Marshall
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