Dig 2021: #10 Ash and Dung

30 July 2021

Hello each and all,

Cows in mist

The news starts with our resplendent view of Hoy, yet again! Maybe the coos have hindsight?


Our slot outside the West pavilion. This shows a threshold beneath a 1950’s blocking of the Cart Door and last year’s trench being opened up. More of this tomorrow as we descent into further recent history.

Inside the West Pavilion, we removed half of a broken flooring flag. This may not look glamorous, neither did it smell glamorous either. What it did reveal was the shore shingle leveling gravel to set the flagstones on, then below this anxious, thick deposit of burned peat ash, dung and detritus. This, as yet hath been probed no further.

Dig down

Some interesting pieces of Ballachulish slate appeared in this layer, along with a fizz bottleneck, which held a glass marble. These were invariably smashed so a nipper could glean the marble for sporting activities. Our bottleneck was fractured in such a way. Such small things do throw a beam of light into recent and touchable past!

This does mean, though, that the original floor level was well below this. When we find that floor, we will be able to assess this building more accurately than has been done in the recent past. It could well inform the architectural planning of the Arctic Centre and restoration of the Hall of Clestrain that we so desperately need. This work surely indicates that this building was higher than we originally thought!

Some interesting sponge ware appeared. This was the more usual domestic variety, as opposed to the exceptional examples we came across last year in the ‘Moat’ fill by The Hall..

Maybe we can delve deeper here?

After a night’s rain, we had this. Lake Como had expanded and the glacial clay had become too slippery to work with. Work here was abandoned for the day.

Patience brings a better one.



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