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Old Pentland Churchyard

September 2009

Old Pentland Churchyard September 2009 Carried out on behalf of Damhead Community Council by CONNOLLY HERITAGE

Carried out on behalf of Damhead Community Council

by

CONNOLLY HERITAGE CONSULTANCY AND

EDINBURGH ARCHAEOLOGICAL FIELD SOCIETY

TRAPRAIN

HOUSE

LUGGATE

BURN

WHITTINGEHAME

EAST

LOTHIAN

EH41 4QA

T : 01620 861643

E : INFO@BAJR.ORG

Table of Contents

1.0

SUMMARY

2

2.0

INTRODUCTION

2

3.0

OBJECTIVES

7

4.0

METHODOLOGY

7

5.0

RESULTS

7

5.1 Fieldwork

7

5.2 The Trenches

7

5.3 Artefacts

8

6.0

CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

8

ILLUSTRATIONS

Figure 1: Location plan.

Figure 2: Site Plan with trench locations.

Figure 3: Geophysics Results.

Figure 4: Trench Plans

Figure 5: Interpretation of excavation and Geophysical plot, with reconstruction.

Appendix 1: Context List Appendix 2: Photo List Appendix 3: Artefact List Appendix 4: Trench List References

Old Pentland Churchyard, Midlothian

North Sea Inverness Aberdeen Edinburgh Glasgow
North Sea
Inverness
Aberdeen
Edinburgh
Glasgow
North Sea Inverness Aberdeen Edinburgh Glasgow 0 100 km 1km Old Pentland Church 0 100m Figure

0

100 km Midlothian North Sea Inverness Aberdeen Edinburgh Glasgow 0 1km Old Pentland Church 0 100m Figure 1:

1km

Old Pentland Church
Old Pentland Church
0 100m
0
100m

Old Pentland Churchyard, Midlothian

February 2009 Geophysics Trench 2 Trench 1 GIBSONE MAUSOLEUM WATCH September 2009 Geophysics HOUSE
February 2009
Geophysics
Trench 2
Trench 1
GIBSONE
MAUSOLEUM
WATCH
September 2009
Geophysics
HOUSE
0 20m
0
20m

Old Pentland Church, Damhead, Midlothian

1.0

SUMMARY

1.1

An archaeological investigation consisting of geophysics and a two small evaluation trenches was undertaken at the request of the Pentland Conservation Group and with the kind permission of the Gibsone Trust, at Old Pentland Churchyard, Damhead, Midlothian. The site is located within the graveyard set back from the road that passes through Damhead The work consisted of two days of Geophysics and follow-up excavation over the area of a strong signal that seemed to represent a wall or foundations. The purpose was to locate any trace of the church which would once have stood in the graveyard but has since been demolished at some point in the late 18 th or early 19 th century. The work was purely exploratory and would provide information for any further investigations. Special care was taken to ensure that human remains would not be disturbed.

1.2

The work was undertaken on the 8 th August and 12 th September, and was restricted to non intrusive geophysical survey across the graveyard and two targeted test trenches directly over features that were interpreted as solid stone features. Special care was taken to avoid known graves and also to keep within the areas of probable walling / foundations to ensure the potential that human remains were disturbed was at a minimum.

1.3

The work enabled the further interpretation of the site, and will allow any future work to confidently excavate the church footprint with a clear plan of the structure and the type and depth of deposits found. Excavation was restricted to examining the upper levels of archaeological deposits, and once uncovered and identified, no further intrusive work was carried out.

1.4

Further work suggested is that the geophysical feature showing to the south of the now identified church structure is investigated with a single test trench. Extending the evaluation trench across the ‘known’ church to confirm the width and the exact shape of the apse, and to investigate traces of floor level (perhaps as a mortar line on the internal wall-face) without excavating beyond this level. Due to the nature of the area it is imperative that no burials are disturbed – therefore care must be taken to follow wall- lines where there is no possibility of burial.

2.0

INTRODUCTION

2.1

Site location

The site is located to the north of Pentland Road NT 26240 66331 (Fig. 1) and slightly to the northeast of Pentland Bridge.in Midlothian. The topographic location is on a small knoll that drops sraply to the north, east and west. To a surrounding landscape of farmland.

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Old Pentland Churchyard, Midlothian

Old Pentland Churchyard, Midlothian February 2009 Resistivity plot Grid Width: 80 (20m) Grid Height: 160 (40m)
February 2009 Resistivity plot Grid Width: 80 (20m) Grid Height: 160 (40m) Orig Sample Size:
February 2009 Resistivity plot
Grid Width:
80 (20m)
Grid Height: 160 (40m)
Orig Sample Size:
1.00 x 1.00m
New Sample Size: 0.25 x 0.25m
Resistivity Plot by the
Edinburgh Archaeological
Possible secondary structure
September 2009 Resistivity plot

0

20m

Document: Old_Pentland_2View2

Field Society

Structure investigated by trenching

Old Pentland Church, Damhead, Midlothian

2.2 Site History

Old Pentland Cemetery is a cemetery in Old Pentland, near Loanhead in Midlothian, Scotland. A category B listed building, the cemetery dates back to the early 17th century.

The cemetery contains the remains of members of the Covenanter movement and may also have been scene to tending of wounded covenanters after the Battle of Rullion Green in 1666. The Gibsone burial vault was built in 1839 to designs by the architect Thomas Hamilton, and there is an 18th-century watch house, used to guard against body snatchers. Within this structure are, (if you look through the window) two stones believed to be from the 13 th /14 th century. Originally discovered by Thomas Arnold buried underneath the turf in 1856 they were later rediscovered recycled as cope stones in the perimeter wall to the left of the watch house. One other stone has been removed to Rosslyn Chapel for safe keeping and can be seen in the vault there – The King of Terrors

The burial ground surrounds the site of Pentland parish church, which was established in the 13th century, and this burial ground was still in use in 1907, although the parish had been joined with Lasswade in the 17th century. Pentland chapel is noted as a free parsonage in Bagimond; it was erected into a parish church before 1275, and the parish was united with Lasswade in 1647.

The following extract is from Fasti ecclesiae Scoticanae:

[In 1583 the Synod of Lothian remitted to the General Assembly that means be taken for establishing a minister here. The parish was united to Lasswade in 1647, there not being sufficient competence for a minister.]

1570 JOHN BROWN, reader.-[Reg. of Min.]

1574 WILLIAM BARBOUR, having also in charge Penicuik and Mount-Lothian. He removed to Penicuik in 1576. He held the prebend of Lochstarik, named Bwit- sextus; vacant by his death before 25th May 1584.-[Req. Assig., Wodrow Miscell.]

1576 JOHN BROWN, reader.

1586 JOHN BARBOUR, probably brother of William B. above mentioned; reader at Mount-Lothian 1576-80; then here 1586. He was pres. to the vicarage of Temple 2nd Jan. 1577, and to Newton; coll. 8th Aug. 1587. Being" convict of riot in the kirk, and sclander," two of the brethren were, 22nd Aug, 1616, "appointit to see his desk removit, by the authority of Gilbert Hay of Monktoun, bailie of the bounds," who on 29th "reportit, that they had acquaintit the aforesaid, quha promisit that in all tyme coming they sould be cummerless " [of John Barbour].-[Reg. Assig., Wodrow Miscell.; New Stat. Acc,, i.]

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Old Pentland Churchyard, Midlothian

T1 T2 1002 1005 projected wall line cut projected wall line 1004 1003 Trench 1
T1
T2
1002
1005
projected wall line
cut
projected wall line
1004
1003
Trench
1
Trench 2
0
1m
2002
Figure 4:
Trench Plans

Old Pentland Church, Damhead, Midlothian

The Covenanters

Helen Alexander was born in sight of Old Pentland Graveyard in the mid- 17 th century into a Covenanting family. She grew up into what historians describe as the ‘Killing Times ‘the period following the re-establishment of Episcopacy by Charles 11, when Covenanters who refused to attend Episcopalian parish churches were ruthlessly punished.

After the death of her first husband Helen was married to James Currie, by James Renwick, who was the last martyr to the the Cause. He was executed for his Covenanting beliefs at the age of 26 , Helen’s life was spent in the dangerous struggle to achieve freedom of worship. She was imprisoned by Sir Alexander Gibsone but he may have privately shared her convictions and secured her freedom despite her intransigence which would have cost her her life.

The Conventicles were guarded by armed men led by Richard Cameron, They became known as the Cameronians, a regiment of the British Army for three cent

They were the only regiment of the British army who attended church parade bearing arms, a tradition dating back to when they guarded the Covenanters worshiping at Conventicles. These were clandestine religious services held in secret locations often on remote hillsides and perhaps even in this graveyard.

The Battle of Rullion Green took place on the 28th November 1666 between around 900 Covenanters under the command of Colonel James Wallace and 3000 Royal Troops under Lieutenant General Tam Dalziel of the Binns.

Pursued by Dalziel, the Covenanters marched via Swanston and the line of the Biggar Road to Rullion Green beyond Flotterson.

Confused ,untrained and exhausted, the Covenanters were defeated on the field and fled in panic. Most of the Covenanting army were killed. There is a monument to the dead on the site of the battle but it is believed that many were buried in Old Pentland graveyard though it is more likely this relates to the graves of and the association with Helen Currie (though her headstone now resides in the Huntly House Museum in Edinburgh

A study of maps of the area, including William Roy (1755), John Laurie (1763) and the 1850-52 ORDNANCE SURVEY - Six-inch 1st edition maps of Scotland – though none of these show a church clearly at this location, and the 1852 OS 1 st Edition shows that the church is no longer present by this time. Only Adairs map of 1680 shows a church at this site marked Pentland.

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Old Pentland Church, Damhead, Midlothian

3.0

OBJECTIVES

3.1

To confirm the presence of a structure within the burial ground that could be identified as a church or chapel

3.2

To provide dating evidence for construction of the structure.

4.0

METHODOLOGY

4.1

A process of resistivity Grid Width: 80 (20m) Grid Height: 160 (40m) Orig Sample Size: 1.00 x 1.00m and a further examination at 0.25 x 0.25m was carried out by Edinburgh Archaeological Field Society (fig 2, 3 & 5)

4.2

Small 2x1m evaluation trenches were carefully located directly over the wall feature and within the interior where no graves would be disturbed, all work was carried out by hand and the excavation stopped on the buried groundsurface in order to ensure to burials would be disturbed.

4.3

Plans were drawn of the trenches after cleaning, and photographs taken with a digital SLR at 9Megapixel resolution.

4.4

Finds have been labelled appropriately and the assemblage will be reported to the Treasure Trove Unit on competition of the investigation.

5.0

RESULTS

5.1

Fieldwork

The work was undertaken overtwo days on the 8 th August and 12 th September 2009 in bright sunshine and good conditions. The turf topsoil was regular across the site ranging from 80mm to 90mm in depth and a buried groundsurface was located at c. 90-120mm beneath the surface.

The various datasets from the investigation are presented in the appendix section; Context list (Appendix 1 ) Photographic list (Appendix 2), Finds register (Appendix 3), Trench Register (Appendix 4)

5.2

The Trenches (Fig. 2 & 4)

5.2.1

Trench 1 contained a spread of rubble [1002] that reconciled itself into a borad (c. 90cm wide) bank of loose stones that contained mortar and other building material that suggested demolition debris. This lay directly onto a ground surface [1005] which was taken to be the level of the graveyard prior to demolition of the church. This overlay the well dressed masonry of a wall [1004] running east west which curved slightly to the south as it extends to the east. A chamfered plinth was recognised that may extend down, however this was not investigated further in order to minimise disturbance. The are to the east had been disturbed by a robber trench [1007] that showed evidence that the masonry wall had been removed at this point and had been backfilled

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Old Pentland Church, Damhead, Midlothian

with loose rubble core material and mortar [1006]. No further excavation was carried out, other than to extend the trench to the southwest to confirm the wall line.

5.2.2

Trench 2 was located within the ‘apse’ of the structure, and immediately after the removal of topsoil [2001], the stony surface [2002] was located at a depth of c. 120mm. This overlay a large rubble layer, which initial probing showed to extend to a depth in excess of 1.5metres. It was felt unwise to continue, given the uncertainty of this deposit, whether it was infill or natural material. Roofing material was recovered from [2002] which suggests that this was directly above what must once have been the slab floor, and therefore rubble [2003] could be construed as natural.

5.3

Artefacts

5.3.1

Although few artefacts were recovered, the material does point conclusively to a mediaeval foundation, with Scottish redware greenglaze founding both trenches, and most importantly within the probable demolition debris 1002 and 2003. the date range is 12 th -15 th century, however, on completion of the final stage of works, the assemblage will be examined by George Haggarty, and the material will be available for study within the Scottish Redware Project after allocation. The stone roofing material is of a micaeous schist and the perforated pieces clearly indicate the roof construction for the church, adding to the picture of the missing structure. Bottleglass was recovered as well as a clay pipe stem, however, this does seem to indicate use of the area after the church has long gone, ands the area is used for other purposes.

has long gone, ands the area is used for other purposes. One of 5 perforated stone

One of 5 perforated stone roofing tiles –from contexts 1002 and 2003

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Old Pentland Church, Damhead, Midlothian

6.0 CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

The programme of evaluation has shown that in the areas of investigation there are the clear remains of the church of old Pentland, and give some idea as the extant of the structure and preservation. There is still a question regarding the width and nature of the apse end and whether there is another earlier structure on the site to the south. It is clear we have uncovered an important clue to Midlothian’s early mediaeval past and it’s associations with religious institutions and knights. The graveyard contains a fascinating story and it is possible to complete the understanding of this site and place the Arnold stones into a physical context as well as provide a detailed plan of the surviving remains in order to inform any further works.

It is not suggested that a full excavation is carried out given the nature of the site and the potential problems with later graves, however, this targeted careful examination of the structure of the church, will allow a fuller interpretation of the monument without disturbing the in-situ deposits.

of the monument without disturbing the in-situ deposits. Greenglaze Redware – from context 1002 – poss

Greenglaze Redware – from context 1002 – poss 15 th century date

Based on the currently located architectural fragments, geophysical plan layout and the general form of this church type it is possible to create a tentative reconstruction of the church shown in Figure 5. This is based on a small chapel with apse end which would have been built by a knight in the 12 th century and then evolved into a parish church before demolition in the late 18 th or early 19 th century. The potential for study cannot be underestimated, with a number of similar structures available for study within the region.

Our thanks extend to the Gibsone family for their kind permission to investigate the architecture of this lost church.

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Old Pentland Churchyard, Midlothian

0 10m Tr 1 Tr2 possible wall lines
0
10m
Tr 1
Tr2
possible wall lines
Interpretation of excavation and Geophysical plot, with reconstruction
Interpretation of excavation and Geophysical plot, with reconstruction

Figure 5:

Old Pentland Church, Damhead, Midlothian

Appendix 1 Context Register

Context List

Context

Description

1001

Topsoil

1002

Mix of sub angular stone fragments.

1003

Sandstone rubble forming linear bank

1004

Dressed and Chamfered masonry wall with mortar and rubble core

1005

Mid brown silty clay with some mortar inclusions (buried ground surface)

1006

Small to medium angular masonry in dark brown silty matrix, backfill of [1007]

1007

Linear cut from extant wall [1004] stretching to east, as a robber cut. bottomed

Vertical sides, not

2001

Topsoil

2002

Sub angular sandstone fragments with roofing material

2003

Rounded and sub angular boulders large to medium size (uncertain whether this is natural.

Appendix 2 Photo Register (Digital) Photo Record List Site Direction Photo ID Description Date Code
Appendix 2 Photo Register (Digital)
Photo Record List
Site
Direction
Photo ID
Description
Date
Code
from
DSCF4264
OP_09
Record shot of Trench 1 – pre-excavation
N
12/09/2009
DSCF4265
OP_09
Record shot of Trench 1 – deturfing
N
12/09/2009
DSCF4266
OP_09
Trench 1 – showing 1002
E
12/09/2009
DSCF4267
OP_09
Record shot of Trench 2 – after topsoil strip
E
12/09/2009
DSCF4268
OP_09
Trench 1 – showing rubble 1002 exposed
E
12/09/2009
DSCF4269
OP_09
Trench 2 – showing rubble spread 2002
E
12/09/2009
DSCF4270
OP_09
Trench 1 – rubble 1002 removed onto ground
surface 1005 and first sign of wall 1003 to left
E
12/09/2009
DSCF4271
OP_09
Trench 1 – Wall 1003 prior to extension to
southwest – note robber fill 1007 in cut 1004
to right. Displaced plinth stone is visible with
chamfer.
S
12/09/2009
DSCF4272
OP_09
Trench 1 – Wall 1003 showing curve to east
Vertical
12/09/2009
DSCF4273
OP_09
Trench 1 – Wall 1003 showing curve to east
Vertical
12/09/2009
DSCF4274
OP_09
Trench 1 – Wall 1003 showing curve to east
Vertical
12/09/2009
DSCF4275
OP_09
Team Photo – EAFS and CHC
-
12/09/2009
DSCF4276
OP_09 Team photo – EAFS and CHC
-
12/09/2009

Appendix 3 Artefact List

Artefact Record List

 

Trench

Context

Description

1

1002

1 clay pipe stem frag

1

1006

1 Green glaze body sherd ( redware)

1

1006

1 stone roofing material - perforated

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Old Pentland Church, Damhead, Midlothian

Artefact Record List

 

Trench

Context

Description

2

2002

3 fragments worked masonry

2

2002

3 oyster shells

2

2002

2 stone roofing material - perforated

2

2002

6 fragments of roofing material

2

2002

2 glass shards (bottle)

2

2003

1 shard glass (bottle)

2

2003

2 Green glaze body sherd (one redware)

Appendix 4 Trench List

Trench List

Trench

Description

1

North - South Orientation (2m x 1m with 2m x 1m extension to southwest corner) Final depth:

.4m

2

East - West Orientation (2m x 1m) Final depth: .3m

Aitchison, C (1892) Lasswade and Loanhead in the olden time,

Arnold,

T

(1880)

'Note

Churchyard',

on

two

sculptured

sepulchral

slabs

in

Old

Pentland

Cowan, I B (1967) The parishes of medieval Scotland, Edinburgh. Held at RCAHMS:

C.3.2.COW

Reid, A (1907) 'The churchyard memorials of Lasswade and Pentland', Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland: 81–99.

Scott, H et al (eds.) (1915-61) Fasti ecclesiae Scoticanae: the succession of ministers in the Church of Scotland from the Reformation, Edinburgh. Held at RCAHMS: C.3.2.FES

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Old Pentland Churchyard, Midlothian

Old Pentland Churchyard, Midlothian

Old Pentland Church, Damhead, Midlothian

LOCAL AUTHORITY:

 

Midlothian

PROJECT TITLE/SITE NAME:

Old Pentland Kirk

PROJECT CODE:

 

OP09

PARISH:

Lasswade

NAME OF CONTRIBUTOR:

David Connolly

NAME OF ORGANISATION:

(Connolly Heritage Consultancy) Edinburgh Archaeological Field Society.

TYPE(S) OF PROJECT:

Geophysics and Test Trenches

NMRS NO(S):

NT26NE 14.00

SITE/MONUMENT TYPE(S):

12 th Century – 18 th century – Burial Ground and Church

SIGNIFICANT FINDS:

 

Foundations of apse end, with chamfered course

NGR (2 letters, 8 or 10 figures)

NT 26240 66331

START DATE (this season)

12 th September 2009

END DATE (this season)

 

12 th September 2009

PREVIOUS WORK (incl. DES ref.)

 

MAIN

(NARRATIVE)

Following a geophysical survey of an area within the Burial ground directly to the east of the Gibsone Mausoleum the distinct features of buried walls were observed. Using targeted trenches (2x 2m by 1m in size) the results were investigated, and proved fruitful in showing extant foundations and the chamfered course level. 14 th -16 th century green glaze pottery was recovered, and evidence for wall robbing, which may have taken place in the 18 th century, based on later finds. No human remains were uncovered. Within the church, no trace of a floor was uncovered, but rubble was extensive and this may yet be investigated further. During geophysics to the south should a distinct outline of a possible second structure – which may represent an earlier structure. Further work will investigate this structure and expose the apse end of the church to confirm the curved wall.

DESCRIPTION:

(May include information from other fields)

PROPOSED FUTURE WORK:

Trial trenches over second possible structure and confirmation of interior floor level of original church

CAPTION(S) FOR ILLUSTRS:

-

SPONSOR OR FUNDING BODY:

Connolly Heritage Consultancy

ADDRESS

OF

MAIN

Connolly Heritage Consultancy Traprain House Luggate Burn Whittingehame East Lothian EH41 4QA

CONTRIBUTOR:

EMAIL ADDRESS:

 

info@bajr.org

ARCHIVE

LOCATION

RCAHMS , Connolly Heritage Consultancy

(intended/deposited)

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