DISCOVERING DUMFRIES AND GALLOWAY’S PAST

RESISTIVITY SURVEY AT CASTLEDYKES PARK, DUMFRIES INTERIM REPORT

COVER IMAGE: VOLUNTEERS UNDERTAKING SURVEY ON CASTLE HILL, CASTLEDYKES PARK.

DDGP: Survey at Castledykes Park, Dumfries.

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Author: Giles Carey Date of Issue: Friday, November 23, 2012

Contents Summary................................................................................................................................................... 2 Acknowledgements ................................................................................................................................... 2 Introduction ............................................................................................................................................... 3 Project Background ................................................................................................................................... 3
Site Location ...................................................................................................................................................... 3 Aims and objectives ........................................................................................................................................... 3 Archaeological and historical background .......................................................................................................... 3

Geophysical survey ................................................................................................................................... 4
Standards........................................................................................................................................................... 4 Technique selection ........................................................................................................................................... 4 Field methods .................................................................................................................................................... 4 Data processing ................................................................................................................................................. 4

Results ...................................................................................................................................................... 4 Conclusions............................................................................................................................................... 5 Appendix 1: Technical data ....................................................................................................................... 6 Bibliography .............................................................................................................................................. 7 List of figures
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Cover image: volunteers undertaking survey on Castle Hill, Castledykes Park. ...................................................................... 1 Figure 1: General location of geophysical survey ................................................................................................................... 8 Figure 2: raw resistance survey data ..................................................................................................................................... 9 Figure 3: processed resistance survey data ........................................................................................................................ 10 Figure 4: interpreted resistance survey data ........................................................................................................................ 11
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Summary
Volunteers undertook a single day of resistance survey in and around the Royal Castle of Dumfries, situated in Castledykes Park. A number of areas of rubble were recorded across Castle Hill, and tallying closely with parts of the earthworks known as ‘The Saddle’ to the north-west of Castle Hill. Survey to the north of the path, adjacent to the modern car park, suggested extensive disturbance associated with the landscaping of the park both in the 18th century and the1950s. One area on top of Castle Hill was of particular interest, as survey suggested a defined building foundation, a circle of stonework measuring 5m across. However, this remains difficult to interpret given the lack of evidence for other buildings associated with it. A wide range of volunteers drawn from the local community participated in the survey.

Acknowledgements
The survey would not have been possible without the enthusiasm of all volunteers who turned up on the day; our thanks to them all. Background research was greatly assisted by Andy Nicholson at D&G HER. Permission to carry out survey was granted by landowners, D&G Council, with assistance from Andrew Pattinson and Kenny Piercy . A Section 42 consent for survey on the Scheduled Monument was granted by Historic Scotland, with thanks to John Malcolm. This phase of Discovering Dumfries and Galloway’s Past is jointly funded by the Scottish Government and The European Community, Dumfries and Galloway LEADER 2007-2013; The Crichton Foundation and The University of Glasgow.
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Introduction
This report presents the results of a single day of resistance survey carried out in the vicinity of the Royal Castle of Dumfries, in Castledykes Park to the East of the town. In total, four 20m x 20m grids were completed, on top of Castle Hill, to its immediate north (the other side of the path), and over a section of earthwork, part of a complex known as ‘The Saddle’ (figure 1). This fieldwork was carried out by volunteers drawn from the local community, under the supervision of staff from the University of Glasgow. The survey was part of Discovering Dumfries and Galloway’s Past, a project engaging local communities across the region in non-intrusive archaeological fieldwork.

Project Background
Site Location The survey area comprised an area of landscaped parkland, partly on top of Castle Hill and in the gently undulating land around it, in the eastern extent of Castledykes Park, Dumfries (centered on NX 9775 7467). The ground conditions and weather on the day of the survey were good, and no surface moisture was present which may have adversely affected resistance survey results. Aims and objectives The purpose of any geophysical survey is to “as far as reasonably possible, determine the nature of the detectable archaeological resource within a specified area using appropriate methods and practices” (English Heritage, 2008: 3). As a training exercise, and community archaeology project, a key purpose was to provide hands-on experience for local volunteers in planning, setting up and conducting a geophysical survey. Archaeological and historical background The focus of the survey was the Scheduled Monument of The Royal Castle of Dumfries (SM 2472; NMRS NX97SE 2). The castle was constructed in the late 12th century, together with the Chapel of St. Mary. It was briefly occupied by Robert the Bruce in 1306, but only held for three weeks. It was slighted in 1357, and appears to have never been rebuilt. The site of the castle was extensively landscaped, creating formal gardens associated with the 18th century Castledykes Manor House. It was then subsequently further altered when the land was turned into the modern public park, in the 1950s. A more extensive summary of the historical background is given by Nicholson (2010). Previous archaeological work in Castledykes Park has been limited. Between August and October 1953, A.E.Truckell, of Dumfries Museum conducted very small scale excavations on the site of the castle. A number of arcs of walls were encountered around the flagstaff located at the southern end of Castle Hill, and an assemblage of 13th-15th century pottery was recovered. These were interpreted, in part, as outbuildings of the 12th century chapel, which appears to have remained standing until the 18th century (Truckell, 1955: 192; Truckell and Williams, 1967). Subsequent archaeological fieldwork within the park has been limited to monitoring during the construction of a lighting system alongside the path between the two scheduled areas of earthwork, in 2003, and during the construction of a cycle path along the eastern boundary of the park, in 2010 (Nicholson, 2003; 2010). Both watching briefs produced evidence of features surviving underlying later
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landscaping and tree planting. A small area of undated, collapsed walling was recorded in 2003, on ‘The Saddle’; a linear cut of unknown function and date, containing a large sandstone block, was located to the south of the public toilets in 2010.

Geophysical survey
Standards The surveys and subsequent reporting were carried out in accordance with English Heritage’s guide to Geophysical Survey in Archaeological Field Evaluation (2008), the IfA’s Standard and Guidance for Archaeological Geophysical Survey (Draft) (IfA, 2010) and the ADS’ Geophysical Data in Archaeology: A Guide to Good Practice (Schmidt, 2001). Technique selection Resistance survey was chosen as it would respond best to the survey’s target, the stone-built elements of the castle site itself. Field methods An overall survey grid was established using tapes, with reference to known points on Ordnance Survey mapping. Data collection was carried out using a standard methodology. A zig-zag traverse scheme was employed, logging data in 20m grid units, with all grids walked in the same direction (N-S). A Geoscan RM15 resistance meter was used to conduct the resistance survey; the sample interval used was 1.0m with a traverse interval of 1.0m. Data processing Geoplot software (version 3) was used to download and process the resistance data. Greyscale plots of both raw and processed data were produced in Geoplot, and are presented in this report as figures 2 and 3. The ‘raw’ data has been subject to minimum editing to remove operator error, with data subsequently processed to remove geological and background biases and interpolated to aid interpretation (see appendix 1).

Results
Interpretation is presented in figure 4, with anomalies discussed in the text below annotated for ease of reference. Resistance survey was generally successful across the survey area, with a number of anomalies identified. On top of Castle Hill, a number of features of higher resistance were noted. Anomalies B and C are not well defined; this might suggest that they represent general spreads of rubble stonework, possibly associated with destruction layers. Conversely, anomaly A appears to be a well defined pennanular feature, measuring nearly 5m in diameter. This may relate to in-situ stonework, although it’s exact nature remains hard to interpret as no evidence for other defined building material is discernible around it. It is, however, of particular interest, given that excavations in 1953 had recorded walling within this vicinity, although the exact area of excavation is not clear (Truckell, 1955).

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In the grid surveyed to the north, across the other side of the path, a number of weak high resistance anomalies, together with one linear low resistance feature are evident (D). These most likely relate to disturbance associated with the landscaping and tree-planting of this area, both in the 18th century and 1950s; modern flowerbeds and tree planting were encountered in this grid. A further partial grid focused on a number of difficult to interpret earthworks, forming part of ‘The Saddle’, an area between the two scheduled areas. Both anomaly E and F appear to relate to earthworks as depicted on Ordnance Survey mapping. In both cases the earthworks appear to be represented by areas of buried stonework, probably of a rubble nature. Such an interpretation would appear to tally with the area of collapsed sandstone walling evident in the hole excavated for pole 6 during the 2003 watching brief (Nicholson, 2003: 1). A small area of low resistance to the north of F is perhaps indicative of a silted up ditch immediately at the foot of the earthwork.

Conclusions
The programme of resistance survey in Castledykes Park has recorded mostly spreads of stonework, represented by areas of higher resistance anomalies with little definition. These are interpreted as areas of rubble (B,C,E,F), or as belonging to the landscaping carried out both in the 18th century and 1950s (D). A single high resistance anomaly suggestive of in situ building material was recorded (A), of a circular form, 5m wide. It, however, remains difficult to interpret given that no other clear cut traces of buildings were recorded on top of Castle Hill.

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Appendix 1: Technical data
Resistance Data 1. ‘Raw’ Data Clip (limits maximum and minimum values for display and subsequent processing): -3/+3 σ Despike (removes large anomalies above a certain threshold): x-radius 1; y-radius 1; threshold 2 2. Processed data Interpolation (smoothes greyscale appearance by adding extra data points into the dataset, calculated with reference to surrounding collected data) For more technical information on data processing, see (Geoscan Research, 2005: Chapter 6).

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Bibliography
English Heritage, 2008 Geophysical Survey in Archaeological Field Evaluation [online] http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/publications/geophysical-survey-in-archaeological-fieldevaluation/geophysics-guidelines.pdf 04/07/2011
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Geoscan Research 2005 Geoplot Instruction Manual [consulted online] http://www.geoscanresearch.co.uk/Gp300Proc3.pdf 04/07/2012
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IfA, 2010 Draft Standard and Guidance for Archaeological Geophysical Survey [online] http://www.archaeologists.net/sites/default/files/node-files/geophysicsSG.pdf 04/07/20112
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Nicholson, A. 2003 Archaeological Watching Brief At Castledykes Park, Dumfries, Dumfries And Galloway: 11-13 August 2003. Unpublished report held by D&G HER Nicholson, A. 2010 Castledykes, Dumfries, Archaeological Watching Brief: Data Structure Report. Unpublished report held by D&G HER Schmidt, A. 2001 Geophysical Data in Archaeology: A Guide to Good Practice York: Archaeology Data Service Truckell, A. 1955 Note on local excavations Transactions of the Dumfriesshire and Galloway Natural History and Antiquarian Society 32 p.192 Truckell, A. and Williams, J. 1967 Mediaeval pottery in Dumfriesshire and Galloway Transactions of the Dumfriesshire and Galloway Natural History and Antiquarian Society 44 p.155-157

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FIGURE 1: GENERAL LOCATION OF GEOPHYSICAL SURVEY DDGP: Survey at Castledykes Park, Dumfries. -8-

FIGURE 2: RAW RESISTANCE SURVEY DATA DDGP: Survey at Castledykes Park, Dumfries. -9-

FIGURE 3: PROCESSED RESISTANCE SURVEY DATA DDGP: Survey at Castledykes Park, Dumfries. - 10 -

FIGURE 4: INTERPRETED RESISTANCE SURVEY DATA DDGP: Survey at Castledykes Park, Dumfries. - 11 -