Dig 2021: #11 Steps revealed

30 July 2021

Patience hath brought this better day, but the Hoy View is no clearer! Even the cows have given up!
Do read below.

Here is Sue doing a mopping up exercise after an early morning’s rain.

Removing a Slab

Duncan removes a slab, which covers the steps down to the Hall’s ground floor. This shows the surface water drain, which kept the North face of Clestrain dryer in the 1950s

under the slab

Cleaned up before delving deeper. There is some packing around the drain here. It led onto the stone where the water fled down the crack between the slab and the wall.

steps appear

Duncan, caught red-handed, exposing the steps down to the Hall of Clestrain’s threshold! This was a surprise, but it confirms Ivan Craigie’s words that they descended three steps, then went into the Hall.

frog and leech

On charming Nature Notes, here’s a wee frog we fond within the structure of the drain. She/He was very comfortable in the damp. We released this adorable amphibian into a permanently moist area within the West ‘Moat’

We did discover what at first we thought might be a flat worm under a stone flag. This puzzled us as there is an abundance of wonderful earthworms there. It turned out to be a leech. Like the frog, they do survive in waterlogged conditions. It did cross my mind, though, that this could be a descendant of Dr. John Rae’s very own leech collection for blood letting! It is funny what happens with an idle mind, isn’t it?



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