You are on page 1of 15
GEOPHYSICAL INVESTIGATION IN DALMENY VILLAGE WEST LOTHIAN MARCH 2005, H.M.D.JONES EAFS GEOPHYSICS OCCASIONAL PAPER No, 12 6 1. 71 72, 73. 14, 75, 8 81 82 83 84 85 86 Geophysical Investigation in Dalmeny Village Contents Summary Introduction Method Results Conclusions Acknowledgements Illustrations O.S. map. Scale 1:2500. Dated 1896 Layout of areas of survey. Scale 1:1,000. Printout of data. NW area, (a) and (b) Printout of data, $ area Printout of data, NE area, References The Place Names of Edinburgh. Stuart Harris Registrum Magni Sigilli Regam Scotoram (Register of the Great Seal of Scotland) New Edn. J Maitland Thompson Discovery and Excavation in Scotland, 2002 Vol. 3. Pg.53 Military Survey of Scotland 1753. Sheet 7-6. William Roy Drift Geology. B.G.S. Sheet NT 17 NW. Scale 1:10,000 Solid Geology. B.G.S. Sheet NT 17 NW. Scale 1: 10,000 EDINBURGH ARCHAEOLOGICAL FIELD SOCIETY Geophysical Investigation in Dalmeny Village, West Lothian An area ground resistance survey was conducted on the grass verges that border the road junction in the middle of Dalmeny Village to ascertain whether anomalies could be detected close to the road junction. These could indicate that the earlier village was built closer to the road, The grassed area to the NW of the junction is bounded on its N side by a row of cottages, and that on the S side of the T junction extends the full length of the main village street with cottages on its § side. The grass verge on the NE side of the junction is narrower than that to the NW and to the N of it lies the old school with the parish church and grave yard some 40m. further to the N. The survey on the NW area showed nothing that could be interpreted as house foundations close to the road but some non-linear high resistance features appeared on the W edge close to the redevelopment of Wester Dalmeny farmhouse. The survey on the S side verge, which was started at the W end, shows the line of the infilled tramway (see the following, Para.2, Introduction), as a linear high resistance, Two rather indistinct rectangular high resistances lie about 10 and 30m. to the E of the tramway and most other linear high and low resistances appear likely to be related to infilled trenches supplying services to the cottages although a linear low resistance adjacent to the road some 60m, 10 the E of the tramway may represent carly houses, The smallest of the verges on the NE corner of the road junction showed no cleat rectangular shapes but does include an almost continuous high resistance, about 4m, wide, that runs parallel to the pavement on the S side of this survey. 2._Introductis The village of Dalmeny (NGR NT 142 774) forms part of the Rosebery Estates and the current layout of the buildings round the road junction is very similar to that shown in the O.S. map of 1896 at a scale of 1'2500. (Illus 7.1,). The parish church, St. Cuthbert’s, was supposedly founded about 1160 by Gospatric whose grandfather, also called Gospatric, fled from William the Conqueror in 1068. The Romanesque architecture and details point to the church being built by masons who had worked ort Dunlermiine Abbey. Dalmeny is first recorded in the 13" century, according to Harris (Ref8.1), as Dunmanyn and appears to have been a Barony centred on Barnbougle Castle, Wester Dalmeny may have been the “villa de Dunmanyn” recorded in RMS 1428 (Ref. 8.2). The name may derive from the “Fort of the Monks”. The de Mowbray family acquired the estates of Bambougle, Dalmeny and Inverkeithing at the beginning of the 16” century. In 1640 the estate passed to Lord Haddington and in 1661 was sold to Sir Robert Primrose who, in 1703, became the first Earl of Rosebery. The family moved from Bambougle Castle to the newly constructed Dalmeny House in 1815. In 2002 the farm steading of Wester Dalmeny, which lies about 60m. W of the NW grass verge, was redeveloped as a residential complex. An upstanding building survey and archaeological evaluation was undertaken by CFA Archaeology Ltd prior to the conversion of the farmstead into a series of dwellings Sherds of late medieval pottery were recovered and, during a watching brief, a beaten earth floor, hearths, cobbled surfaces and green glazed pottery were found. A report on this evaluation is in Ref. 8.3. It was thought that buildings associated with the Wester Dalmeny medieval complex could have extended to the centre of the village and that these may have been built closer to the road than the existing cottages. The survey by Roy in 1753 (Ref. 8.4) indicates a similar layout, in the village centre, to that shown in the 1896 O.S, map. Detail of the village buildings is difficult to determine, due to the scale of Roy’s map, but, although they differ in number and form from those shown in Illus. 7.1, they do lie back and suggest either a broad street or grass verges similar to those that exist. In 1753 the village was not based on a T junction as no road ran to the north. This road to Queensferry only came into being when the earlier road, that curved ta the W of Wester Dalmeny Farm, was cut by the installation of the railway, Roy’s map shows three possible buildings in the centre of the village S of those that curve round the N side from the rectangular outline of Wester Dalmeny but still well to the N of the buildings that lie to the $ of the road. It is not possible to judge whether they lay to the N or S of the then existing road. At the request of the City of Edinburgh Archaeological Officer, the area ground resistance survey was made over the grass verges that surround the road junction that lies to the E of Wester Dalmeny The drift geology of the area is given in Ref. 8,5. It consists mainly of boulder clay but the pre-quaternary bedrock is stated to be “at or near the surface”, The solid geology (Ref 8.6.) farms part of the Upper Oil Shale Group of the Carboniferous Limestone Series, A seam of the Fells shale runs almost N-S under the road junction, the school and the manse with a paralle! seam of Houston coal about 80m, to the W Both of these terminate at the Ochiltree fault some 300m. to the N of the surveyed area, The coal seam runs to the E of Wester Dalmeny and appears to have been exploited at the time that the local shale mines were in operation., The of 1917, at 1:2500, shows a tramway running in a tunnel under the road, about on this line. The made up ground where this tunnel has been infilled to the W of the grass verges on both the N and S sides of the road was used as the edge of the survey on the NW grass verge. The survey on the S side of the road was started just over 20m. to the W of the infilled sunken tram track which was converted to a WW II air raid shelter on this S side. Two large concrete slabs cover an area of about 1.5 by 1.8m. which still have a cavity beneath them. These slabs were placed to cover the access staits to the tunnel air raid shelter and they lie just to the E of the tunnel line. Lower Carboniferous tuff, agglomerate and basalt occur to the W and E of the road junction but are just outside the surveyed area, however glacial erratics from these intrusions are likely to occur within the area surveyed. 3. Method The area ground resistance measurements were taken on the three grass verges that surround the T junction in the middle of the village and the layout of the 20 by 20m. squares is shown in Illus. 7.2. at a scale of 1:1,000. The grid numbers given in. Illus.7.2 refer to those held within the data store. The survey was carried out using a TRICIA mobile probe frame with the resistance data stored within the measuring unit ‘mounted on the frame, Data was later downloaded, via the RS 232 interface, to a computer running the TR/CIA software programme to produce the printouts. This programme includes both interpolation to a more closely spaced reading interval and smoothing by convolution with neighbouring values. Probe spacing on the mobile frame is 0.5m. and readings were taken at 1.0m. intervals in all three areas surveyed. The probe spacing determines the depth to which anomalies are detected; a probe spacing of 0.5m, limits the depth of detection to between 0.5 and 0.75m, In light of the statement in Ref. 8.5, that bedrock could be “at or near the surface”, it is problematic whether any of the high resistances recorded represent the bedrock. Dummy readings were inserted where trees or tarmac surfaced areas prevented the mobile probes being inserted into the marked square, Two remote probes, one current input and the other for measurement, were located not less than 15m, from the area being surveyed and required repositioning as the survey progressed. Adjustment was made to the spacing of the repositioned probes to give, if possible, an identical resistance reading to that recorded when they were in their previous position, Any minor resistance discrepancy was corrected by the computer programme “edge matching” facility, this gives a printout in which features are not distorted by a change of print density at a 20 by 20m. square boundary. ‘The survey on the NW area of the grass verge comprised eight complete or part 20 by 20m. squares. The area was limited in the W by a driveway overlying the intilled tramway and to the S by the road. The N edge of the surveyed area, squares G 8, 9, 10 and 11, was laid out to be 7.0m. from the front face of the cottages to avoid gardens and driveway. The E edge of square G8 was positioned 8.8m. from the curving tarmac path edge so that its SE corner was not curtailed by this curvature, The N edges of squares G 10 and 11 are collinear with the wall to the W of the cottages causing the most northerly of the readings in these squares to be taken at the wall face which represented the middle of the final metre squares. The squares G 8 to G 15 were surveyed over two days, the 18 and 19 Septeniber 2004 and the printout of the data is shown in Illus. 7.3. Survey over the grass verge on the S side of the junction commenced on 20 February 2005 to the W of the two large concrete cover siabs. The straight road curb edge, along this section, was taken as the N edge of the squares and a total of five squares, G 23 to 27, all with some curtailment, were measured on that day. The remainder of this $ side grass verge survey was completed on 6 March when readings were taken in squares G 28 to 31. The S grass verge is some 180m. long, narrowing at both the E and W ends and with a maximum width of about 20m. at a point opposite the road junction, The surveyed squares were curtailed by this narrowing and by access drives across the verge to the small service road in front of the cottages. Due to the limitation in width of the grass verge squares G23, 24 and 25 were each restricted to areas of 20 by 13m, Squares G26 and 27, although curtailed in part, had some rows of 20m. length. Where the road curves to the $ at the E end of the village squares G 27 to 31 had dummy readings inserted at their N edge and, to accommodate the curve of the S side of the grass verge, squares G28 and G31 were stepped 3.0m. to the S of the square on their W side, Dummy readings were also inserted on the E side of square G30 due to a tarmac surfaced driveway leading to the cottage’s service road. The data printout of the readings taken on the S side verge squares G23 to 3 lare shown in Illus. 7.4, (a) and (b). ‘The verge on the NE corner of the junction, to the $ of the church was surveyed on 13 March 2005. It narrows to the E end and is at no point 20m. wide. The “squares” G32 to 35 surveyed in this area were all curtailed along their N edge restricting the surveyed blocks to 20 by 13m. Dummy readings were inserted at the E side of G32 and W side of G33 where the main driveway enters the church grounds. Dummy readings were also required at the NE corner of square G35. The processed data is shown in Illus, 7.5. To give the best grey scale for interpreting features the resistance ranges in the data printouts are not identical 4. Results The printout of the data, recorded in the survey of the NW verge, (Illus.7.3.) does not indicate that there are any very obvious residual house foundations adjacent to the road as no high resistances appear in this area, A footpath, shown on the 1896 O.S. map IIlus. 71, still exists and cuts diagonally across the grassed area. The path appears as a low resistance at its E end but has a tarmac surface at its W end and becomes a high resistance line where it joins the present road footpath. The low resistance along the N side of squares G10 and 11 is in the position occupied by a driveway that runs in front of the cottages, it then curves to the S, overlying the infilled tram track tunnel, and joins the road, A number of irregularly shaped areas of high resistance occur to the N of the footpath at the point where it has a tarmac surface. There is also high resistance on the extreme W edge of the survey that could link to the remains found in the CFA Ltd. excavation except that the adjacent section would have been truncated, early in the 20" century, by the sunken tramway line. Less distinct low resistance lines could represent property boundaries or may be robbed out walls of medieval houses originally built of turf and stone slabs. The survey on the S grass verge shows, at the W end, the apparent infilled line of the jramway as a 3.5m. wide linear high resistance running N-S. Adjacent to this and immediately to the E is a small low resistance representing the silting under the concrete slabs round which readings were taken without the necessity to insert dummy readings. Some 10m, to the E of the infilled tramway lies a rectangular high resistance outline measuring about Sm. in the E-W direction and almost 10m. N-S but probably longer as its southern edge is outwith square G24. Beside a drive-in from the road, a further 20m. to the E and on the $ edge of the survey, a 2.5 by 5.2m. rectangular higher resistance area is surrounded by a narrower low resistance. This may represent an archaeological feature but it is within 2.5m. of a modern telephone pole and call box the installation of which could have caused some disturbance. High and low resistance lines in the next two 20 by 20m. squares to the E (G26 and 27) are mainly suggestive of infilled trenches that were dug to convey services to the cottages that lie on the S side. Some of these are thought to be part of comparatively recent updates of power and water facilities, There are however some natrow linear low resistances on the N side of squares G26 and 27 enclosing higher resistance blocks ‘hat could represent robbed out features which extend under the footpath or road ‘Square G28 steps 3m, to the S of G27 and for this reason does not show a continuation of this feature. Apart from a large formless high resistance area in G28 and a smaller high resistance in the SW corner of G31, adjacent to another tarmac driveway in to the service road in front of the cottages, there are no other significant features in the S side survey ‘The survey on the NE grass verge, to the S of the church, showed no rectangular outlines with interiors of different resistance, The main feature is a high resistance line measuring some 4m, in the N-S direction and extending almost continuously along the 80m. E-W length of the survey. S._ Conclusions ‘The number of features, that might be interpreted as houses alongside the road, is very limited and does not present a convincing picture of a large medieval village. The NW area, that is nearest to the medieval finds from Wester Dalmeny, shows only irregularly shaped high resistances the interpretation of which is difficult without further survey using other techniques. The line of the footpath is clear both at its E end, where the trodden line is low resistance, and to the W where it still has a tarmac surface. It is possible that this line masks more interesting features, There are slight indications of low resistance lines that run both E-W and N-S under the footpath that could represent old property boundaries. These are shown in Illus. 7.3 The printout of the squares G 23 to 27 is shown in Illus, 7.4 (a). On the S side of the road, to the E of the infilled tramway, the rectangular high resistance outlines in, squares G24 and 25 appear, in shape, to suggest man made structures but as they lie end on to the road, they do not support the theory of a village built facing the street. To the E, where the grass verge broadens to allow 20m, long lines in squares G26 and 27, the picture is confused by what appears to be the infilling of comparatively recent trenches taking water and electricity services to the cottages on the S side. A linear Jow resistance, about 1.5m, from the existing pavement on the N side of these squares, could be interpreted as the rear of buildings the fronts of which would be under the road. The higher resistance infil, on the pavement side of this line, may represent the paved floor within mud brick or turf houses making these the only reasonable evidence of dwellings built facing on to what was presumably a narrower road. The squares G28 to 31, shown in Mus, 7.4 (b), contain areas of high resistance but these do not conform to any recognisable shape and no interpretation is possible. The high resistance in square G28 covers an area in excess of 150 sq.m. and its measurement is curtailed by the edge of the square so that it could extend under the driveway and cottages, The other high resistances in G30 and 31, that lie on either side of a driveway leading to the track in front of the cottages, are smailer, of no recognisable shape and may also extend under the linking driveway or track. It should be noted that the present access roads to the fronts of the cottages differ from some of those depicted in Illus 7.1 The 80m. long survey made on the NE grass verge to the S of the church, squares G32 1035, is shown in Illus, 7.5. The rather amorphous high resistance shapes do not present a clear picture of buildings facing S on to the main village street. The 4m, wide high resistance strip, that encompasses these shapes, runs along the verge very close to the pathway bordering the road and shows slight breaks which may indicate separate buildings, The appearance of this high resistance strip at the W edge of square G32 suggests that it could extend further to the W, if this were so it would infer that it formed part of a feature that predated the construction of the road to Queensferry. 6 Acknowledgements We are pleased to record our thanks to the following for support and information that, in a variety of ways, helped the project forward Historic Scotland for providing a grant towards the cost of administration, travel expenses, expendable equipment, insurance and the preparation and printing of this report ‘The Earl of Rosebery for producing copies of a number of estate plans showing the changing layout of the village Mr George Mudie of CFA Archaeology Ltd. for his cooperation and supply of information on the Wester Dalmeny excavation The Council for Scottish Archaeology for publicity at the outset of the project during September 2004 Scottish Archacology Month Mr John Lawson, City of Edinburgh Archaeological Officer who instigated the project The Society members involved in the layout and area resistance surveys were:~ Alan Calder, Charles Conner, Catherine Cox, Valerie Dean, Carol Dixon, Ian Hawkins, David Jones, Bob Marks, Don Matthews, Clionadh McGarry, Bill McLennan, Jackie Myles, Tom Sharp and Denis Smit, Further thanks are due to lan Hawkins for processing ali the recorded data and providing the printouts, The 8,400 readings taken involved a total of 44 member days on site Lavout of aren of survey. Seale 1:10 llus.7.. WO0'0e 22°S0L bry WgZ'0 X Gz'0 ‘ezIS e|dweg MeN / WOO'L X00"! ‘ezIg a|dwes “BO (wW Ov) 09) 1UBIBH PHO (w 08) OZE “UIPIM PHO MAIAPO 60 6) Auewed ‘JUeUIND0q Mlus.7.3_ Printout of data. NW wo0'0z , WGZ'O X GZ'0 ‘ezIS aIdUIES MEN | woo’) X 00'1 :ezIg eidwes ‘BuO a (w 02) 08 3UB18H PHO ——EEee / (w O01) OOF “UIPIM PHD =x °° & i. we mai, ~ Auawjeg :jueunsoq 4 3 3 3 4 é 3 z ta. Say wo0'0z wgz'0 X $2'0 :8zIS aides MeN l . WO0'L X 00'L :8zIS elduies ‘BO . . ~ (w 02) 08 3UBI8H PHO $9°901 000 (w og) oze ‘wIPIM PUD i“ MAIAZ S [eq juawWNs0q s G28 to 3) Mllus.7.4 (b) Print WO0'0z, wgZ'0 X $70 :9zIS aides MeN wWO0'L X 00°F ‘ezIg ejdwes BU aoa (w 02) 08 3UBISH PUD (W 08) OZE “UIPIM PLD, MaIAZ N Auawjeg :juswunsoq