Geo~hysical Survey in Farl 0' Cakes Field Lauriston, Edinburgh


1. Summary An area ground resistance survey, in Farl 0' Cakes field to the north of the grounds of Lauriston Castle, was made to see whether any features could be detected possibly indicating a Roman burial ground. A total area of 9600 sq.m. was surveyed; the area extended 60m. eastwards from the field wall beside Cramond Road South and 160m. from the wall of the castle grounds northwards, down the slope of the field towards the village of Cramond and the Roman fort. Anomalies were found in the more southerly area of the field comprising circular high resistances of 1 to 2m. diameter in some cases within an annular low resistance of about 5m. diameter. Two or possibly three of these circular high resistances, that do not have low resistance annuli, lie on the edge of a high resistance circle 6m. in diameter; they are higher resistance than the circle and stand out from it. A number of linear low resistances, some continuous and some broken, run parallel and adjacent to the wall alongside the road. The more northerly part of the field is crossed by the old 100fi. rai,sed beach level and in this area swirling low resistances are surrounded by an amorphous high resistance; both appear most likely to be of geological origin.

A brief survey over the small anomalies using a metallmagnetic susceptibility detector did not produce results from which any realistic conclusions could be drawn.
2. Introduction In his book on the history of Cramond (Ref8.1) John Wood writes 'within my remembrance, there was to be seen a large sepulchre, formed of flat stones, on the east side of the road leading from Lauriston to Nether Cramond, in the line of the military way a little below the entry to Kings Cramond, but this monument is now completely destroyed.' The roadto Kings Cramond turned west off the present Cramond Road South at a junction that can now only be seen as a curve in the road wall on the west side of the road opposite to the extreme south west corner of the field. Cramond Road South now angles to the west on reaching the corner of the grounds of Lauriston Castle but is believed to have continued straight on in Roman times. ~ ~ The name 'far17is derived from 1 7 century Scots 'farde17 (see Ref.8.2) meaning the fourth part of a round. Whether the field name links to the form of the sepulchre commented upon by Wood is a matter of conjecture. Only one Roman cremation burial, in an urn, is confirmed from Cramond; this was recorded as found 'in a field near Cramond' and 'distant more than half a mile from the shore' (Ref.8.3). It is possible that Farl O7Cakes could have been this field. Re-examination of the urn and its contents was made recently by Collard and Hunter (Ref8.4).

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