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Method Summary Results and Conclusions Figures 6.1 Map: Pittencrieff Park, Dunfermline, OS First Edition, c. 1855. 6.2 Aerial Photograph (colour): Pittencrieff Park, Dunfermline, vertical, (no date). 6.3 Aerial Photograph (colour): Pittencrieff Park, Dunfermline, oblique, (no date). 6.4 Aerial Photograph (BIW) : Pittencrieff Park, Dunfermline, oblique, c. 1932. 6.5 Aerial Photograph (BIW) : Pittencrieff Park, Dunferrnline, vertical, 28 Mar. 1946. 6.6 Aerial Photograph (BIW) : Pittencrieff Park, Dunfermline, vertical, 23 Feb. 1948. 6.7 Pittencrieff Park, Dunfermline, View of 'Ha-Ha', Centre Section. 6.8 Pittencrieff Park, Dunferrnline, View of 'Ha-Ha', Left of Centre. 6.9 Pittencrieff Park, Dunfermline, View of 'Ha-Ha', Right of Centre. 6.10 Pittencrieff Park, Dunfermline, Surveyed Areas Superimposed on 1:1250 OS Map. 6.10.1 6.10.2 6.10.3 6.10.4 6.10.5 6.10.6 6.10.7
Resistive Plot. Survey Areas ' 1 thru. 4' Combined. Resistive Plot. Survey Areas ' 1 and 2' Combined. Resistive Plot. Survey Area 'A'. Resistive Plot. Survey Area 'B'. Resistive Plot. Survey Area 'C'. Resistive Plot. Survey Area 'D'. Resistive Plot. Survey Area Squares 'GI thru. G9' Combined.
7. References 8. Acknowledgements
EDINBURGH ARCHAEOLOGICAL FIELD SOCIETY Geophvsical Investigation in Pittencrieff Park Dunfermline, Fife
Following the publication of an article in the Dunfermline Press dated 12thJanuary, 200 1, on the potential for archaeology in Pittencrieff Park, Dunfermline, Edinburgh Archaeological Field Society (EAFS) contacted the Fife Council archaeologist, Douglas Speirs, stating that the society might be interested in conducting a limited geophysical survey of the area. A meeting was arranged with the Fife Council archaeologist at Fife House, Glenrothes, at which two members of EAFS and four members of the Dunfermline Local History Society attended. The discussions were of a general nature, but principally concerned the area or areas which might prove most productive using Resistivity Surveying. It was considered that due to the extensive landscaping which had taken place in the northern area of the park and in the vicinity of Pittencrieff House, the least disturbed area of ground lay to the south of the original "Laird's Garden" and the modern east-west internal park road. Aerial photographs of the park were examined which revealed a variety of possible cropmarks, one of which appeared to hold the best potential for a starting point. It was agreed that the Fife Council archaeologist would lay out a 20x20 metre grid over the study area in advance of the survey and to fix this accurately in relation to the Ordnance Survey grid. Additional information by way of maps, aerial photographs and historical data would also be supplied where these were available.
As stated in 'Historic Dunfermline - The Archaeological Implications of Development', (Gourlay and Turner,1978 ), " the lack of subsequent development suggests that survival ought to be good if the site indeed lies in that area". Here what is being referred to is the early King's Burgh, which, if it ever existed, might tentatively be located in what is now known as Pittencrieff Park. However, the lack of subsequent development may have also preserved features both older and younger than the foundations of the medieval borough and it is for these too that the area must be considered. Unfortunately, much of the area north of Pittencrieff House and perhaps more precisely, the area north of the main east-west walkway which lies in front of Pittencrieff House, has been severely modified and landscaped over the past 150 years. The degree to which these alterations have affected the area makes it unlikely that aerial photographs will provide evidence for earlier human activity. Thus during this preliminary geophysical survey, consideration was only given to the area south of the east west walkway where aerial photography had shown possible cropmarks. It was also considered that the land surface in this area had not been subjected to any other major disturbances such as mining. As far as is known, the area was always park-land and even during the second world war, the allotments were sited in the south west corner of the park as shown in Figs. 6.5 and 6.6, and the south and south eastern area was kept under grass or used for cereal crops. In preparing for the survey, little or no attention was paid to the underlying geology, drift or solid, and hence any conclusions based on whether the features which showed up on the aerial photographs were manmade or natural, must be considered unproven.
The ground resistance surveys designated AREA 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 and AREA A, B, C, D on FIG 6.10, were conducted using a Geoscan Research Resistance Meter, RM4, mounted on a Twin Electrode Array, PA1 Frame, which has a probe spacing of 0.5 metres. This spacing gives ground resistance measurement to a depth of 0.5 to 0.75 metres. Readings were taken at 1.0 metre intervals with the remote probes located not less than 20 metres from the area being surveyed. Displayed readings were manually recorded and subsequently processed using Geoscan Research Geoplot software. The ground resistance surveys designated AREA G1 thru. G9 on FIG 6.10, were conducted using a TWCIA Resihtance Meter and mobile probe frame with the data stored within the meter and later down loaded via the RS 232 interface to a computer running the TWCIA software. Probe Spacing on the mobile frame was again 0.5 metres and the readings were taken at 1.0 metre intervals. The remote probes were located 20 metres from the areas being surveyed but of necessity, had to be repositioned. Adjustment was made to the spacing of the repositioned remote probes to give a comparable resistance reading on the meter to that taken at the previous position, with any errors taken out being taken out by the computer 'edge-matching' program. 4. Summary Two area ground resistance surveys were conducted over an area of Pittencrieff Park where aerial photographs had shown possible cropmarks - reference NGR NT 088 870. In all, ten visits were made to the park and the surveys were conducted over the years 200 1 and 2002. The area surveyed is south facing, of a moderately gentle slope and not enclosed by tall trees or any other obstructions. At no time of year does the ground become waterlogged although a small spring to the west of the surveyed area appears to function on a seasonal basis. There are few trees standing within the grassed area and hence under normal conditions the ground receives full direct sunlight. The OS First Edition Map of c.1855, Fig. 6.1, thus fairly represents the conditions that prevail to-day. The first area to be surveyed lay approximately 15 metres to the south of the main east-west walkway which lies to the south of Pittencrieff House. The centre line of the house was projected across the lawns and walkway to provide a western limit to the area to be surveyed. Twenty metre squares were then set out eastward across the grassed area to the south of the walkway and in front of the walled garden. Apart from the cropmarks, it was also known that a 'Ha-Ha', demolished c. 1904, had terminated the lawn in front of Pittencrieff House and had lain close to where the walkway was built. The degree to which the wall was demolished and the disposition of the rubble is unknown but the foundations could still be in place and it was considered that this together with the ditch and rubble might be detected or account for some of the cropmarks. With reference to Fig. 6.7, the sunken wall or 'Ha-Ha' which crossed the southern edge of Pittencrieff House lawn, is seen to curve at its eastern end to meet the above ground wall (Fig. 6.9) of the original "Laird's Garden" (now the Rose Garden). This latter wall may have been altered in height and a southern gateway added, but it would otherwise appear to be the same wall that stands in that location to-day. Thus from the photographs, there is every reason to believe that the 'Ha-Ha', or what is left of its foundations, lies under the northern edge of the east-west walkway or under the sharp change in slope of the lawn immediately to the north of the walkway. Figure 6.8 also shows that to the west, the 'Ha-Ha' ended at another above ground wall in front of a small plantation.
The second area selected for ground resistance measurements lay approximately 80 metres to the south of the first area and the selection was based on the evidence from a second aerial photograph (Fig. 6.3) which showed further apparent cropmarks. In this second area, two different probe1 meter systems were used. The measurements for Areas A thru. D, were taken with the RM4, the same equipment as for Areas 1 thru. 4, and the measurements for Areas GI thru.G9 were taken with the TRICIA. Other than the use of two different pieces of equipment, the areas surveyed were contiguous and differentiated for analysis purposes only. 5. Results and Conclusions Survey Areas 1 thru.4 No east-west features were found that would suggest that the 'Ha-Ha' (the sunken wall, the ditch in front of the wall or any rubble resulting from the walls demolition), were found in the surveyed areas 1 and 2. Either the 'Ha-Ha' was removed entirely, or if the foundations exist, they may lie more than 0.75 metres below the present ground level i.e. beyond the maximum depth which the equipment used could be expected to record a feature. However, and more likely, the section of 'Ha-Ha' which stretched across the width of the lawn in front of the Pittencrieff House, lies either under the 'new' east-west walkway or immediately to the north of the walkway which was not within the surveyed area. Thus with reference to the Aerial Photograph Fig 6.2, which appears to show a linear cropmark running parallel to the roadway and some 20 metres to the south of it, nothing was found from the resistivity plots which would suggest that a wall exists in this area. The only feature on the resistivity plot which would appear to be linear, is the low resistance, north-south trace in AREA1 .This low resistance area may be a natural feature or the result of a drainage ditch. However, as it lies approximately on the centre line of Pittencrieff House, as extended across the lawn to the south, it could have been a path leading to or from a way through the 'Ha-Ha'. Alternatively, and perhaps if of more recent origin, it may have been a path or connecting link between the east-west walkway and the weather station which was situated on the lower south facing slope between 1934 and 1954 (Ref. Fig 6.4). Survey Areas A thru.D and G1 thru.G9 These areas were surveyed mainly on the basis of the cropmarks shown on Aerial Photograph Fig. 6.3. The resistivity plots show a very clearly defined low resistance area running across the area from north west to south east with well defined but localised high resistance areas to east and west. This has been taken to represent a geological feature and not evidence for human activity. However, the pronounced, almost regular high resistance area measuring some 20 metres east-west, by 40 metres north-south in survey areas G3, G4, and G6 thru.G9 is the most intriguing feature, has the potential for being manmade and would be worthy of further investigation including a trial excavation test pit.
Copyright EAFS 18 MARCH 2004
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