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Big Cousland Dig


The Cousland Local History Project

With archaeological and historical advice and support from

Connolly Heritage Consultancy
Edinburgh Archaeological Field Society
Scottish Detector Club
AOC Archaeology Ltd
CFA Archaeology
George Haggarty
Louise Yeoman
East and Midlothian Young Archaeologist Clubs
Iain Fraser
Big Cousland Dig - Community Archaeology Project

Table of Contents

5.0 RESULTS 13
5.1 CASTLE FIELD – Area 1 13
5.1.1 Geophysics (Edinburgh Archaeological Field Society) 13
5.1.2 Metal Detecting (Scottish Detector Club) (Appendix 4) 11
5.1.3 Excavation (Figure 3) 19
5.1.4 Historic Building Record 22
5.1.5 Historical Research (Cousland Historical Society and Louise Yeoman) 26
5.3 POTTERY FIELD– Area 2 38
5.3.1 Geophysics (Edinburgh Archaeological Field Society) (Figure 4) 38
5.3.2 Field Walking (Figure 4) 39
5.3.3 Excavation (Figure 4) 40
5.3.4 Ceramic Report (George Haggerty) 41
5.4.1 Clearance 43
5.4.2 Excavation (Figure 9) 46
5.4.3 Historic Building Record 46
5.4.4 Historic Analysis (Iain Fraser RCAHMS) 47


Figure 1: Location plan 3

Figure 2: Site Investigation plan 6
Figure 3: Area1 location of geophysics, detecting, trenches and elevations 10
Figure 4: Area 2 location of fieldwalking grid, geophysics and distribution plot 11
Figure 5: Area 3 location of trenches, elevations and area of clearance 12
Figure 6: Southwest Elevation in Castle Field 23
Figure 7: Castle Elevation 24
Figure 8: 1750 Roy Map and 1st Edition OCS map (1854) 44
Figure 9: Plans, elevations and details of windmill 45

Appendix 1: Trench List & Context List

Appendix 2: Photograph List
Appendix 3: Artefact List
Appendix 4: Metal Detecting Artefact List
Appendix 5: Ceramic List

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Big Cousland Dig - Community Archaeology Project

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Big Cousland Dig - Community Archaeology Project

North Sea


Glasgow Edinburgh

100 km 10 km

Area 1
Area 3

Area 2

Areas of investigation
1. Castle and Walled garden
2. Pottery Brae
3. Windmill Hill


Reproducion of Ordnance Survey

map details with the permission of the
Controller of HMSO Crown Copyright
OS Licence AL 52480A0001
Figure No. 1: Site Location Map
Big Cousland Dig - Community Archaeology Project


A community archaeology project was carried out at the

village of Cousland in Midlothian. The sites that formed
the investigations were located in a field to the west of
Cousland, the environs of the castle and walled garden in
the centre of the village and the windmill to the southwest.
The work consisted of field walking and geophysical
survey with the intention of locating the actual pottery
site, geophysics to locate structures in the environs of the
castle and walled garden and a metal detecting survey to
pinpoint any metal objects in both the walled garden and
the field directly to the south of the castle. Excavations were
carried out to test the geophysics results in the pottery
field, to locate the missing wall of the castle, the layout
and walls of the residential structure adjacent to the castle,
to locate the greenhouse and to investigate geophysics
results inside the walled garden. Research was also carried
out to place all the known structures into their historical
context. The ruined windmill was cleared of vegetation
and a test trench was put in to investigate the potential for
subsurface structures. These works were commissioned
by Cousland Local History Project and funded entirely by
The Heritage Lottery Fund. The work was undertaken in October 2007, April 2008
and July 2008. The pottery field was restricted to one test trench due to time Topsoil removed in
Trench 2, within the
restrictions and excavation was limited to 2m away from the walls of the castle Castle.
and walled garden due to their scheduled ancient monuments(SAM) status
and safety considerations. The field to the north of the castle was restricted to
geophysical and metal detecting surveys as limitation on time restricted any
other work being carried out.

The work will enable the interpretation of the known standing structures of
Cousland and develop a research strategy for the newly discovered sites. This
project will also form the basis for a future educational/artistic and interpretation

Further work required includes continued excavation as well as documentary

study and ceramic research of the pottery site. A strategy needs to be developed
for further investigations of the residence adjacent to the castle and the castle itself
requires more detailed architectural recording. Excavations will also be required
to investigate the geophysics results in the south field and a conservation plan
needs to be drawn up for the future protection of the windmill.

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2.1 Site location

T he sites are located in three distinct settings within and in the immediate
vicinity of Cousland village. The village itself lies some 4km to the northeast
of Dalkeith and 10km to the east of Edinburgh (Figure 1).

Area 1- Castle field (NT377683) an area roughly 150m x 100m in size, in the
southwest corner of the village, containing the castle, walled garden and field
directly to the south.

Area 2- Pottery field (NT370677) the area of a field to the south west of the road
leading to Dalkeith, and comprising the upper flat area before the field slopes
down to the west.

Area 3- Windmill Plantation (NT377681) defined by a circular wooded area to the

south of the village.

Figure 2 shows in greater details the areas and the scope of works carried out in
each location.

2.2 Site History

A large amount of historical research carried out previously by the Cousland

Local History Project, looked closely at the lime works and the blacksmiths
or ‘smiddy’. As a direct consequence of this research, the current project was
envisaged to try to piece together the evolution of Cousland to be carried out as
a community activity. Crumbling corner of
the castle, Cousland.
The village of Cousland has a long history documented as far back as 1160. It has
however been difficult to place the village into a proper historical context, given
the paucity of records, maps and archaeological investigations.
There are several prehistoric enclosures located by RCAHMS in the surrounding
countryside attributed to the Iron Age and Cousland is also known from a
contemporary map of the battle of Carberry Hill.

Little information exists for the 16th and 17th centuries save for reports of
supposed witches from Cousland being tried in 1630 at Dalkeith. Cousland lime
is also mentioned in the Edinburgh Burgh records of 1557 and appears to be
quite a considerable industry at that time.

Old maps of the area confirm the presence of several of the features investigated
in this project. General Roy’s map from the 1750s clearly shows the ‘residence’
in the castle field and the presence of the windmill (Figure 8), though at this
time there is no sign of the Pottery. The later first edition OS map of 1854 again
shows no pottery structures, fitting the lifespan of the industry to between 1750
and 1850. The windmill is also shown as disused by this time, and the residence
adjacent to the castle is no longer shown, suggesting demolition during the
intervening time.

Previous to this project there have only been two known archaeological
investigations in and around Cousland. Most recently by CFA, an archaeological
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Big Cousland Dig - Community Archaeology Project

Contours at 5m intervals Area of investigation

Building or structure Wall

0 500 m

Area 1
Area 1




Area 3

Metal detecting area


Areas of trenching
geophysics and detecting
0 100 m
Area 2

Area 2

Areas of trenching, geophysics

and surface collection
0 100 m

Figure No. 2: Site Investigations

337000E 338000E
Big Cousland Dig - Community Archaeology Project
company, who carried out a survey in advance of the A68 bypass extension
around 2005/6. Although mention of a site was first made in 1852, the first known
scientific investigation took place in 1957, when “evidence of a number of burials
was discovered when digging holes for a fence. One burial was fully excavated and
found to be laid in a long cist. There were capstones about 1’ below the surface, and
paving: the sides were of irregular stones, four on each side. The cist was 6’ long by a
maximum of 1’9” wide internally, and was oriented ENE-WSW. There were certainly
three more cists at the site, and probably a good many more.” The 1852 Ordnance
Survey Name Book also noted cists containing human remains immediately adjacent
to Windmill Plantation on the south side of the road. (Confusingly, the road in fact
runs north-south, so the location of the cists still remain uncertain.)


I n order to ascertain the location of an 18th

century pottery, known to exist from historical
records, field walking was planned to collect
surface pottery and associated items that was
found to be present in large quantities within an
area of a field near to Cousland. The collected
finds were to be studied by a pottery specialist
to confirm a type and date period. At the
same time a geophysical survey (resistivity and
magnotometry) was to take place over the same
area to locate any kilns and associated buildings.

There was some evidence to suggest that a structure, most likely a glass house Setting out the grid
existed near the west wall of the walled garden, and was deemed necessary to for Fieldwalking
test this theory with excavation. The castle structure which forms part of the east
side of the walled garden is in a ruinous state with a missing east wall. In order to
obtain a better understanding of the castle structure itself the missing wall would
need to be located. The lodgings, adjacent to the castle with only its west wall
partially remaining required investigation to obtain a clearer picture of its extent
and layout. It was also felt that there may be other structures located within the
walled garden area. It was planned to carry out a geophysical survey to locate any
unknown structures and to try to locate the presence of the glass house, castle wall
and lodging walls. A metal detecting survey of the same area was also planned in
order to detect any metal finds. It was decided to open trenches around the area
of the glass house, the missing east wall of the castle and selected areas of the
lodgings. Trenches would also be opened if the geophysics results showed up any
anomalies within the site.

It was felt that there may be possible buildings or burials lying within the south field,
given the close proximity to the castle and the evidence of the 1957 report1 and the
mid 19th century OS Name Book2 both reporting on cist findings. A geophysical
survey was to be carried out in this area in order to obtain some initial evidence to
work from. A metal detecting survey was also to be carried out in this area to locate
any surface metal objects.

1 Henshall, A S (1957 a) ‘Northland Farm, Cousland’, Discovery Excav Scot, 1957, 21

2 Ordnance Survey (Name Book) (1852) Object Name Books of the Ordnance Survey Book No.19, 46,

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Big Cousland Dig - Community Archaeology Project
The windmill site containing the ruins of a 17th/18th century windmill and
adjacent platform required to be carefully cleared of overgrown vegetation
around the ruined arch. It was also deemed important to ascertain with test
trenches whether there were any other structures associated with the site.


I n the castle field (Area 1) it was decided to carry out a range of activities and
investigations that would suit both the site and the range of people who were
to be involved in the project. Initially, a geophysical survey was carried out, in
order to target any likely areas for excavation. (Figure 3) This was then followed
by further work to extend the geophysics and also a series of five trenches to
investigate both anomalies and potential features. The decision was taken to
locate the greenhouse in trench 1, the east wall of the castle in trench 2, and
to investigate a square feature found by geophysics in trench 3. Trench 4 was
positioned to try to find the south wall of the ‘residence’ and trench 5 to provide
an idea of the depth of deposits and perhaps the east wall of the same structure.
At the same time, a metal detecting survey was carried out across the whole
area, and two elevations of the castle and adjacent residence were drawn up by
two volunteers from the Big Cousland Dig team. The results it was hoped would
inform and evaluate for future work, and teach as wide a variety of techniques as
possible, allowing all ages and abilities to be involved. Historian, Louise Yeoman
provided valuable information gained from her historical research and held a
workshop in the village hall to share the findings with interested parties. She
also provided details of how and where to research historical records.

The Area 2 pottery field was investigated in a similar multi disciplinary way, under
the supervision of the project archaeologist, the Edinburgh Archaeological Field
Society (EAFS) and ceramic specialist George Haggarty. A gridded area of 5
metre squares was surveyed in, and all pottery, bricks and other artefacts were
collected, cleaned, logged and described. This was used in conjunction with a
geophysical magnetometre survey3 most suitable for finding kilns and other
heat affected structures, along with resistivity which was carried out by members
of the EAFS. (Figure 4) Finally as a result of a positive resitivity report a small
evaluation trench was opened to give an idea of the depth and preservation of
the structures shown.

3 Every kind of material has unique magnetic properties, even those that we do not think of as being Left to right:
“magnetic.” Different materials below the ground can cause local disturbances in the Earth’s magnetic field Detecting, Geophysics,
that are detectable with sensitive magnetometers. Magnetometers react very strongly to iron of course, Survey, Excavation.
and brick, burned soil, and many types of rock are also magnetic, and archaeological features composed of
these materials are very detectable.

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The windmill within the plantation was investigated by both a brief buildings
record of the profile and vault elevation, as well as two small evaluation trenches
to provide data on depth of soil build up and the survival and preservation of the
structure. Prior to this, it was necessary to clear the covering of vegetation as well as
remove two small dangerous tree stumps, threatening to destabilise the windmill

All these investigations were designed to provide a body of information to inform

future decisions regarding continued research and excavation. It was also hoped to
answer the initial questions concerning the shaping of the village of Cousland over
the past thousand years.

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Big Cousland Dig - Community Archaeology Project

Trench Resistivity plot

Area 1: Castle field Expected
with features
Elevation Wall

Area 1

Castle Area 3

Greenhouse Area 2

T3 T5



a rden
a l l ed G Location of Area 1
Plan on left shows the areas subjected to Resistivity survey
and the location of trenches 1 - 5.

The suspected wall lines are shown in orange, based on

both geophysical anomalies and structural features
recognised in the upstanding walls.
Possible features are outlined in yellow.

Metal detecting took place in the area that was covered by


Two elevations were recorded and are marked in red.

337900E Figure No.3: Area 1 : Castle field, showing trenches and

668200N resistivity plots
0 100 m
Big Cousland Dig - Community Archaeology Project

Trench Resistivity plot

Area 2 : Pottery field
surface Magnetometer plot
collection grid

Areas of trenching, magnetometer Cousland

and surface collection
Area 1

Field walking results (statistical graph and sherd count)

Whiteware (18th century)

Whiteware (19th century) evaluation trench
Area 3

Redware (18th century)

Kiln material and Kiln Furniture
Anomalies visible on Magnetometer survey Area 2

29 100 m 667700N

30 5 2 3 10
Area 2 : Pottery field
31 25
0 0 0 10

26 13 1 7 29
32 16 5 2 2

27 21 29
Location of Area 2
0 0 1 18 30
9 1 2 15
22 5 6 8 11
Plan on left shows the areas subjected to resistivity and
28 11 7 5 29 32
magnetometer survey.
23 17
0 1 4 25
14 7 15 15 Areas of trenching, resistivity The clear magnetometer plot shows the location of 3
18 106 35 32
and surface collection
24 0 0 0 1 circular features, which are interpreted as kilns.
19 13
15 43 8 23
0 0 3 16 The Grid represents the area covered with gridded surface
14 68 12 2 3 collection.
20 4 4 5 39

15 9
85 50 4 19 A trench was excavated as shown to investigate survival of
23 29 20 38
10 149 50 11 7 sub surface features.
16 53 39 2 18
evaluation trench
11 5
64 53 9 33
40 19 7 48
6 91 39 14 8
12 58 12 5 47
7 70 29 16 14
42 27 10 37
8 42 34 18 39

62 28 30 38
4 Figure No.4: Area 2 : Pottery Field
0 100 m 667700N
Big Cousland Dig - Community Archaeology Project

Trench area of clearance Cousland

approx location of windmill Area 1

Plan below shows the various activities carried out within

the Windmill Plantation
Area 3
The area of the windmill was cleared of vegetation and
debris that directly impacted on the site

The red line represents the drawn elevation of the vaulted

structure Area 2

Two trenches were excavated as shown to investigate

survival of sub surface features and confirm the location of
the windmill structure no longer visible above ground.

Location of Area 3

Area 3: Windmill Plantation

evaluation trench
Windmill Plantation

evaluation trench


0 100 m

Figure No.5: Area 3 : Windmill Plantation

Big Cousland Dig - Community Archaeology Project


5.1 CASTLE FIELD – Area 1

5.1.1 Geophysics (Edinburgh Archaeological Field Society)


A n area ground resistance survey, totalling 7,600 sq.m .. was conducted in

the field in which the remains of Cousland Castle or Tower House stands. A
further 3,200 sq.m. were surveyed in the field that lies immediately to the south
of the castle field.

In the area adjacent to the castle historical documents showed apparent ancillary
buildings and Cousland Nunnery was reputed to lie further to the south.
The field surrounding the castle appears to have been quarried for limestone
reducing the field level by about 0.5m and thus destroying any foundations
that were close to the castle. The eastern entrance to the castle stands on solid
limestone bedrock some 0.5m.above present field level. It is presumed that
the topsoil was replaced over the main area of the field subsequent to the

High resistance patches, to the east of the wall that runs southwards from the
castle, looked as though there could however be some remaining demolition
debris. Other areas of high and low resistance were amorphous in shape
suggesting that holes left from excavation, infilled with possible topsoil and
therefore low resistance, together with patches of high resistance where the
limestone had probably not been removed, indicated quarrying activity rather
than building.

The 2,000 sq.m. surveyed beside the south fence of the field and the 3,200 sq.m.
that were surveyed in the adjacent field to the south show rectangular and square
features that are very suggestive of building footings. These extend to the east
from the 20 by 20 metre squares beside the road for at least 50 metres.

Work on the resistivity

survey within the
Castle Field and Walled

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T he remains of Cousland Castle NGR NT 3780 6830, stand in a field on the

south side of the main street, unclassified, that runs approximately east-west
through the village of Cousland. Butting on to the castle on the west side is
a wall that appears to have enclosed a later walled garden. This area has been
levelled, possibly in association with the removal of limestone and there are the
remains of a disused lime kiln about the south.

The area is associated with the Macgill family, initially of Nisbet and Cranston
Riddell who, by marriage into the Primrose family, later became of ‘Cranston
Riddell and Drylaw’. Sir James Macgill was a Provost of Edinburgh and his great
grandson was, in 1651, created Viscount Oxford and Lord Macgill of Cousland. He
had held the position of Lord of Session since November) 1629.

The survey objectives were firstly to ascertain, in advance of a programmed

excavation, whether building footings could be detected in the area surrounding
the castle and secondly to survey to the south of the castle to see whether any
remains of the nunnery could be found. The use of area ground resistance survey
equipment was deemed adequate to indicate whether there were any relevant
foundations still in existence.


T he field survey was started on 23 September 2006 on the western side of the
castle. Ten 20 by 20 metre squares were laid out with the western side of four
of these on a line 1.0m from the west wall. The north wall is not precisely at right
angles to the west wall; this necessitated having to make the extreme north-
western corner of the survey 3.0m from the north wall. The first square surveyed
was the one in this NW corner; the start point was adjacent to the west wall and
twenty readings were taken proceeding northwards. The survey was then made
zigzagging south and then north again across the three squares that have their
north side adjacent to the north wall. The last row of these three squares was, at
its northern end, I.6m. from the castle wall. The next three squares were surveyed
in a similar manner starting adjacent to the west wall and proceeding zig-zag to
the east. The final square surveyed on the 23rd was in the next row to the south
beside the west wall. The two squares to the east of this and the fourth square
beside the west wall were surveyed on 10 February 2007.

The area to the east of the castle is just over 20m wide and four 20 by 20m
squares were laid out and surveyed on 2 June 2007. Measurements were made
starting at the SW corner and proceeding northwards and thence across the
square zig-zag. The three squares to the north were surveyed in turn completing
on the eastern edge of the most northerly square. The western edge of these
squares is on a line 3.7m. from the face of the wall that runs south from the castle.
The southern border of the (north) square is on the line of the north face of the
south castle wall, see Figure 3

On 29 March 2008 five 20 by 20m. squares were pegged out with their southern
border 1.0 m from the wire fence along the southern side of the field and their
western edge on the same alignment as the 23 September 2006 survey. The most
westerly of these was surveyed first and overlapped, on its north side, the final
square surveyed on 10 February 2007, by 4.8m. The fifth square in this row was
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Big Cousland Dig - Community Archaeology Project
curtailed by the garden fences of houses to the east; thirteen metre rows were
measured and seven entered as dummies. Four further squares were laid out,
later in the day, on the south side of the wire fence; these are aligned with the
four most westerly squares on the south side of the fence. Due to the difficulty
of making measurements close to the fence there is a 2.0m gap between the
squares measured in the morning and those in the afternoon.

The final survey was made on 5 April 2008 of four 20 by 20m. squares that
adjoined, on the south side, those that had been recorded on 29 March. As on
previous surveys the start was made in the southwest corner and proceeded zig-
zag across the four squares. All 20 by 20m.squares are shown in the site plan
(Figure 3)

The TRlCIA area ground resistance measuring equipment was used throughout
the survey. The equipment operates in the ‘twin’ configuration in which two of Example of a resistivity
the probes are mounted on a portable frame 0.5m apart. They comprise one plot - the darker areas
current input and one potential measurement probe. The two remote probes, show positive features.
(North is to the right)
again one for current input and one for potential measurement, complete the
two circuits; they are inserted about 1.0 m apart and are positioned so that no
reading is taken with the portable frame nearer than 15m to them. All readings
were taken at 1.0 m intervals in lanes 1.0 m wide with the 400 measurements in
each 20 by 20m. square recorded walking zig-zag north and south up and down
the 20m. lanes. In surveying the larger area there was a requirement to move
the remote probes due to the limited length of the cable. A final reading was
taken with the probes in their initial position; the probes were then moved and
their distance apart adjusted to obtain, as near as possible, the same resistance
reading on the metre. A small resistance difference can be corrected during the
print out process using the computer ‘edge matching’ facility.

The unit on the frame generates the 137Hz signal current that flows through
the ground and the potential drop is detected by the measurement probes; the
computer in the unit converts this voltage reading in to a ground resistance value
in ohms. Within the unit is the display, that indicates this resistance, together
with the data store into which the readings are dumped for later processing and
printing. The data were down loaded, via the RS232 interface, to a computer and
printer running the programme ‘Snuffler’. The printout is in grey scale with the
black and white limits chosen based upon the highest and lowest ohms readings
recorded. It is normal practice to print high resistance (well drained areas and
bedrock) as black and low resistance (infilled ditches and damp areas) as white.
Computer processing of the data includes the facility to average between
adjacent metre squares and thence to half metre /squares, this gives a printout
that shows smoother gradation than would be the case if the pixel size had not
been reduced from the original 1.Om square., It is normal to use a final processed
sample size of 0.25m. The black to white ohms range is shown in the printouts as
is the processed sample size.

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Big Cousland Dig - Community Archaeology Project

T he large amorphous high and low resistance areas on both the east and west
sides of the castle seem to confirm that the limestone bedrock, that originally
lay close to the old land surface, has been removed in places, to a depth of about
0.5m. The eastern entry in to the castle, which now stands about this height
above field level on a solid limestone foundation, would appear to confirm this
supposition. The removed topsoil was probably spread back over the field and
infilled the excavated areas. The infilling, due to holding more moisture, appears
as lower resistance in the printouts.

The British Geological Survey maps of the area, Ref. 8.1, support this interpretation.
The Solid geology is shown as comprising sections of both the North Greens and
Top Hosie Limestones that form part of the Carboniferous Group. On the Drift
geology map ‘artificial deposits and worked ground’ together with ‘bedrock at or
near the surface or beneath artificial deposits’ are recorded.

The area between the west wall of the ‘walled garden’ and the castle has been
levelled for about 65m.southwards from the north wall. At that point the ground
rises quite sharply and incorporates a linear high resistance that could represent
the south wall of the garden; this appears in the final 20 by 20m. square surveyed
on 20 February 2007. To the south of this change in level of the field the ground
slopes gently up to the southern fence with the field to the south of the fence
being roughly level. Within the walled garden it is difficult to interpret any
significant anomalous features. Two vague high resistance lines run parallel to
the west wall and may relate to a series of socket holes on the wall suggesting
that a lean-to greenhouse may have existed. The only other small feature appears
within about l5m.of the west wall of the castle on a different alignment.

There is historical record of buildings in the field to the south-east of the castle
and features on the wall that runs to the south from the castle confirm that a
range did exist in that direction. Two significant high resistance spots that lay to
the east of butting points on to this wall could represent demolition debris.

The five 20 by 20m. squares surveyed on the south side of the field show no
obvious features at the eastern end where they were curtailed by garden fencing;
the amorphous high resistance appears to be limestone bedrock. The two squares
on the west side are significantly lower in resistance and show possible linear
features that run north-south about 2 and 7 metres east of the road. A square
structure, divided symmetrically into four, appears 20m. from the road and about
7m. south of the fence.

The eight 20 by 20m. squares surveyed in the field to the south of the fence show
a series of raised resistance lines, again mainly aligned approximately north
south, parallel with and starting adjacent to the road. These could be linked, in
the three most southerly squares adjacent to the road, by more pronounced
high resistance lines aligned east west. The fmal square, in the extreme south
east corner of the survey, has a high resistance line that runs almost parallel to its
eastern edge with an apparent turn to the east at the northern end. It must be
assumed that this feature extends outside the surveyed area.

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Big Cousland Dig - Community Archaeology Project

T he initial aim of attempting to detect ancillary buildings adjacent to the

castle was relatively unsuccessful apparently due to the removal of limestone
bedrock and its replacement by ‘worked ground’. The remains of an old lime kiln
within the wood some 200m to the south suggest that this explanation is likely
to be correct. The area to the southeast of the castle, alongside the wall that runs
to the south, did indicate two high resistance areas that appeared to relate to
buildings that had their west ends incorporated in this wall but most of the area
appears to have suffered from limestone extraction.

The area within the ‘walled garden’ shows no significant features and must have
been excavated for limestone except at its southern end. The assumed south wall
of the garden does not extend clearly to the wall beside the road and appears to
stop some lam short of this wall in a square feature. The survey did not extend
to the east to ascertain whether a similar square feature was detectable at this

The survey at the southern end of the field and in the next field to the south was
significantly more successful in detecting rectangular shaded higher resistance
outlines that can be interpreted as man made structures. It was suggested that,
due to small fids, the nunnery buildings could have been located in this area and
the rectangular outlines are plausible foundations for these buildings. The main
high resistance features run at right angles to the road which, at this point, is
aligned about ten degrees west of grid north. The small subdivided square, that
lies about 20m. east of the road and 8m north of the wire fence, is on this same
alignment. The less pronounced raised resistance lines that run from the main
high resistance features possibly extend over the north and may have
been detected on the edge of the field to the north.

The linear high resistance, that lies on the edge of the square in the extreme south
east corner of the survey, is aligned slightly differently. This ‘wall’ runs almost due
north and south with a right angled turn to the east at its northern end. This
could be construed as west wall of a building laid out more accurately on an east
west axis and therefore more likely to be of ecclesiastical origin or possibly in a
different building phase from those on the different alignment.


The Society records its thanks to all who made this project possible and successful.
David Connolly, who issued the first invitation for the Society to become involved in the
surveys in conjunction with the Cousland Local History Project.

David was also instrumental in organising the grant aid from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
This covered ground resistance equipment expenses, travel, administration, part of
members insurance on site and the preparation and printing of this report.

The data processing was carried out by Jan Hawkins who also supplied the ground
resistance printouts for the illustrations.
Fourteen Society members contributed to the 35 member days during the five days of
survey; they are:
Kathleen Allenach, Alan Calder, Graeme Collie, Charles Conner, Val Dean, Hugh
Dinwoodie, Jan Hawkins, David lones, Bill Mac1ennan, Don Matthews, Tom Sharp, Denis
Smith, Jill Strobridge and Brian Tait.

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Big Cousland Dig - Community Archaeology Project

5.1.2 Metal Detecting (Scottish Detector Club) (Appendix 4)

Members of the Scottish Detecting Club, kindly offered to help the Big Cousland
Dig, by expertly sweeping the area for any metallic finds, both in the fields, and also Find MD 50
in the trenches, to alert us to any missed items. Indeed it could be said that some Scotish Turner
of the best ‘artefacts’ came from their survey. No discernable with cleaned
pattern was picked up, and no significant concentrations were example below.
observed. However, the items that were recovered do in some
way represent the later history of Cousland. From the 16th
century came the buckle of a shoe (Find MD 008), from a person
who would have known Cousland at the time of Mary Queen of
Scots and the Battle of Carberry4 and when both the Castle
and Residence were standing. The restoration of the monarchy
can be seen from two 1670’s Charles II turners, (Find MD013
and MD 050) and then the disastrous end of the Stewart Kings
with James II’s infamous Gun Money5 , how did this coin end
up here? A 1797 George III Cartwheel penny6 (MD 075) brings
us into the industrial age, when the pottery, windmill, smiddy
and walled garden would all have been built only 5 to 25 years
earlier. A link to World War II can be found in a fragment of a
Mills Grenade (Find MD 001) which may have
been used during a live ammunition exercise in
the quarry to the south.

Find MD 52 James
VI Gun money with
cleaned example
Above left: late 16th century buckle below.
Above right: 1940s army issue webbing buckle.

4 On a hot sunny day on Carberry Hill in June 1567, Queen Mary spent her last few hours of freedom. It is
suggested she was taken first to Cousland Castle – the Ruthven’s Residence – before she began her captivity,
first in Scotland and then in England, which was only to end 20 years later in her execution.

5 Gun money was an issue of coins made by the forces of James II during the Irish Civil War between 1689
and 1691. Minted in base metal, these were designed to be redeemed for silver coins following a victory by
James II and consequently bore the date in months to allow a gradual replacement. As James lost the war,
that replacement never took place, although the coins were allowed to circulate at much reduced values
before the copper coinage was resumed.They were mostly withdrawn from circulation in the early 18th

6 The first copper coins that Boulton minted for the British Government are know as ‘cartwheels’, because of
their large size and raised rims. 500 tons of these penny and also twopenny pieceswere minted in 1797

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5.1.3 Excavation (Figure 3)

Trench 1

Trench 1 was 10 x 2 metres long, designed to train people to

excavate in an environment where skills could be taught with
little damage to archaeology. It was expected that the footings
and floor of a glasshouse as well as a path would be uncovered.
However, after removal of the topsoil [1001] the underlying
mixed clay showed that the entire area had been disturbed,
and no sign of the glasshouse was found. Areas of dumping,
including a car seat and other mechanical items were present,
and pointed to later use of this area for burning rubbish. The
glasshouse was thought to stand here, as rafter holes are evident
in the wall directly above the trench 1, and a 1940s photograph
clearly showed a whitewashed section of wall, relating to the
interior of a building that had been removed not long before. A
deeper test trench was sunk at the west end to a depth of 1.10
metres which provided evidence of a further subsurface layer of
clay rich soil, which had most likely been imported from another
location and used as a ‘base’ for the topsoil throughout the entire
walled garden (proved in the similar deposits in Trench 3).

Trench 2

Trench two was located in an area to the east of the castle, with the intention of Above: Trench 1 with
locating the missing east wall, and so give a definitive size to the castle structure. underlying mixed
deposits and below, the
The 7 x 2 metre trench provided much in the way of archaeological highs and final section showing
lows. The initial clearance down to the first archaeology [2002] contained rubble, the thick mid brown
clearly from the castle walls, located in a distinct line, and the hope of finding a clay rich layer.
robbed wall foundation trench was high. This soon proved not to be the case,
as the stones were sitting on a mixed clay rich layer, that was similar to that
Below: Trench 2
found inside the walled garden. The complete lack of any foundations or floor under excavation, ,
levels became a source of great discussion on the site, and helped to explain including our youngest
the process of interpreting archaeological sites. The final activity was a deep volunteer.
1.2 metre test hole at the west end, with a smaller 0.40 x 0.4m hole sunk to over
1.8 metres. This conclusively proved that the limestone bedrock on which the
castle stood had been completely quarried away, and with it,
much of the castle walls. The stone likely had been incorporated
into the walled garden, and so any surviving deposits relating
to the castle would lie within the remaining castle structure to
the west. Of interest, was the fill of the ‘quarry pit’, which may be
related to the phase of the walled garden construction. There
were frequent lumps of pure clay suggesting the backfilling of
the pit, and perhaps even the levelling of the walled garden, was
with material used for pottery manufacture.

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Trench 3

Trench three was sited to investigate a square anomaly located by geophysics

within the walled garden. The square 5 metre trench was extended to the north
by a further 2 metre extension, but it soon became apparent that it contained
the same deposits uncovered in trench 1. A topsoil horizon sat over a mixed
layer before coming down onto a heavier clay rich soil at around 0.30 – 0.40 m
depth. No sign of the feature was found, and no clue to what may have caused
the anomaly was established.

Trench 4

Trench four turned into one of the most interesting and promising investigations, Above: Trench 3 under
providing most of the finds, and several key pieces of evidence. One of the last excavation.
trenches to be opened, all people who worked on it, of all ages, enjoyed exploring
Below: Trench 4
the evidence that came from the surviving layers. A layer of stones running east directing the work.
west [4006] soon became recognisable as the backfill of a robbed out wall some
0.90m wide. Although heavily truncated, it was clear that the entire building,

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Big Cousland Dig - Community Archaeology Project
dubbed the ‘Residence’ had been demolished completely, with
only the west wall remaining as a clue to its existence (though it can
be seen on General Roy’s map of the 1750s – Figure 8). Deposits
excavated to the south (exterior) and north (interior) were clearly
different, and from the interior deposits [4004] came several ceramic
items dating to the late 17th and 18th centuries, confirming use and
terminus post quem for the structure – it clearly did not survive into
the 19th century. Several bones were recovered, and during the
washing of the finds, it was ascertained that one, a right calcaneus
Tarsus7 was human. This must represent disturbed burials from an
earlier date, and raises once again the possibility of either a chapel
and graveyard nearby, or that the soil used to level the area for
agricultural use was brought from nearby, and we have previously
recorded that human remains were found only 100metres away
near the windmill plantation. Because the residence was obviously
standing when the walled garden was built, it would have escaped
the quarrying found in trench 2, and although the deposits were
truncated by later agriculture, it is obvious that in situ deposits still
survive here.
Above: Trench 4
exposing the robbed
wall, with volunteers of
all ages.

Left: The human

calcaneus, and location
within the foot.

Below: Recording the

final levels of Trench 5 .

Trench 5

Trench five was excavated, only to a depth of

0.30m, however, it too came down to the top of a
robbed out wall, with rubble fill within a presumed
foundation cut. It was decided that given the
time, it was reasonable to record the presence of
archaeological deposits surviving beneath 0.30m
below ground surface. Again, it seemed there
had been a deliberate and total demolition of the
residence, and further examination if possible would
provide further archaeological evidence concerning
this building.

7 A large bone in the human foot above the heel.

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5.1.4 Historic Building Record

Two Elevations were picked to best represent the

architectural and chronological phasing of the
walled garden / castle site. The first long elevation
(Figure 6) was created along the south north wall
leading to the castle, and continued through the
castle as a cross section. The second was a section
of castle wall in the southwest corner (Figure 7)
that showed the relationship between the earlier
windows and the courtyard wall that was built
against the castle to the south. All the drawing
was carried out by the project volunteers, and
photographic images were used to enhance the
base drawings, that were produced at 1:50. From
these records it was possible to produce accurate
stone by stone CAD elevations. The three main
phases of construction were as follows.

Phase 1. The castle, consists of thick rubble filled

walls of local limestones with sandstone quoins.
Internal features include aumbries and within
the thicker north wall, there is evidence for the
existence of a large fireplace with a water spout to
the side, leading from an external source (probably
from the roof ). The surrounds of the doors and
windows are all of high quality grey quartzite
rich sandstone, with thick chamfered mouldings
on the jambs. The walls are built directly onto a bedrock outcrop. The vaulted Careful recording of the
chamber is unusual, as it seems to be a first floor feature, and corbels that run ‘Residence’ elevation.
along the south internal face of the wall, as well as joist holes, indicate that the
surviving remains are two stories of a possible four story structure. The style of
castle appears to be of a late 15th century design.

Phase 2. The residence and courtyard wall are constructed of sandstone and
rough angular local stone, and the thickness of walling does not exceed 0.60m.
To the south of the wall there is ample evidence of a mid/late 16th century
structure thought to be a residence. Tusking stones show the northern boundary
of the main building, with the gap between this structure and the castle, being
filled with a skin wall that effectively forces the blocking of the two windows in
the castle south wall. Two blocked windows with chamfered jambs and angled
ingoes, that would have let light in through the small window openings, suggest
that although there would not have been a requirement any longer for defensive
castled structures, the building is still semi-defensible. There are two aumbries
or cupboards set in the wall, and between these features is a door jamb which
shows the building was two rooms deep. Given the standard constructional
measurements of similar buildings of the period it would measure approximately
10 metres wide by 30 metres long (or more appropriately in feet and inches, as
this was how it was built- c. 30ft wide and 90 ft long). A central stair would have
been flanked by rooms on either side, with apartments above. It is too early to
conjecture the precise layout, and we can only be sure it stood from a period of
approx. 1500 to a time between 1750 and 1800.

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Phase3 Walled Garden Phase2 Residence Phase 1 Castle

Phase3(?) later entrance to walled garden

northwest southeast


Rear wall return

Window Window Tusking stones

Aumbry/Cupboard Aumbry/Cupboard floor surface interior of castle
cut bedrock
door jamb door jamb

0 5m

Figure No. 6: soutwest external h elevation

Big Cousland Dig - Community Archaeology Project

southwest northeast


0 5m

Blocked window

Figure No. 7: southwest external elevation of castle

Big Cousland Dig - Community Archaeology Project
Phase 3. This segment of the wall to the south, is a butt joint that is not tied into
the residence. This wall represents the massive walled garden, that is now securely
dated to a period when the Dalrymple family had taken over the estate around
1690 and began a series of improvements. It is of interest that the lower courses
of the massive north wall of the garden, is of the same material as the castle, and
it is suspected that the castle was robbed of stone, and then a quarry extended
beneath it, until all rock was exhausted, with only the walls incorporated into the
walled garden remaining. After the available local stone was used, the garden
was completed with material from another location, which is still to be found,
though it could be close to the pottery site to the west of the village.

Measured recording of
the Residence

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5.1.5 Historical Research (Louise Yeoman)

There is a wealth of historical documentation that has been collected from various
sources, but it is also clear that there is a vast untapped resource to be found both
in the Stair papers of the Dalrymples, and within the National Archives. It is most
interesting that the archaeology has independently correlated with historical
events. These events themselves are fairly complex and will take more time to
precisely document, however, a timeline can be constructed, which includes
footnotes for significant events that Cousland either witnessed or was directly or
indirectly involved in.

Timeline of Cousland

1180 - 1476 - St Clairs of Roslin

William St. Clair was the Fourth Baron of Roslin; Third Baron of Pentland; and the
First Baron Cousland, inherited in 1180, died 1214.

There is mention of Cousland in a charter of William The Lion around the late
12th century, that may relate to the lands, being in some way connected with the
Abbey of Dunfermline.

Henri Fifth Baron of Roslin; Fourth Baron of Pentland; Second Baron Cousland
Inherited 1214, died 1222.

Henri Sixth Baron of Roslin, Fifth Baron of Pentland, Third Baron Cousland
Inherited 1222, died 1270

William Seventh Baron of Roslin; Sixth Baron of Pentland; Fourth Baron Cousland
Born 1220; inherited 1270; died 1296

Henry Eighth Baron of Roslin; Seventh Baron of Pentland; Fifth Baron Cousland
Born 1270, inherited 1296, built Roslin Castle 1304, died 1335

William Ninth Baron of Roslin; Eighth Baron of Pentland; Sixth Baron Cousland
Born 1328, inherited 1335, died 1358

Henry Tenth Baron of Roslin; Ninth Baron of Pentland; Seventh Baron Cousland;
First Earl of Orkney Born 1347, inherited 1358, died 1400

Henry Eleventh Baron of Roslin; Tenth Baron of Pentland; Eighth Baron Cousland;
Second Earl of Orkney Born 1384, inherited 1400, died 1420

William the Chapel-builder; Twelfth Baron Roslin; Eleventh Baron Pentland; Ninth
Baron Cousland; Third Earl of Orkney; First Earl of Caithness; First Baron Dysart,
First Lord Sinclair Born 1404, inherited 1420, built Roslin Chapel 1446, estates
broken up 1476, died 1480.

In 1483 Janet Yeoman, William’s widow tries to claim from the barony as her
‘terce’ (her widow’s life rent of a third of her husbands lands) against the new
Lord Sinclair. This is tried in Parliament, she succeeds at first but they then find
against her.

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“ In the action and cause pursued by William [Sinclair], lord Sinclair,

against Janet [Yeoman], the spouse of the late William [Sinclair],
earl of Caithness and lord Sinclair, and against Sir Oliver Sinclair,
that is to say against the said Janet for the wrongful collection
and withholding of the third of the lands of Cousland, Dysart,
Ravenscraig, Wilston, Carbar and Dubbo totalling the sum of £134
silver and 53 bolls of wheat and barley, and against the said Sir Oliver
for the wrongful withholding from the said William of the charters
and sasines of the said lands in contradiction to his bond and
obligation, and to deliver the same to him according to the form of
the said bond, the said parties being present in person, their rights,
reasons and allegations seen, heard and understood at length, the
lords auditors decree and deliver that the said Janet does no wrong
in collecting [from] her third of the lands of Cousland, because she
is lawfully served with it before the sheriff by our sovereign lord’s
brieves, and that therefore she shall use and enjoy the same forever
and until it is lawfully recovered from her. And as regarding her terce
of the lands of the barony of Dysart, Ravenscraig, Wilstoun, Carbarr
and Dubbo, the lords decree and deliver that the said Janet shall
cease in the future from collecting the thirds from there forever and
until she is lawfully served with them by our sovereign lord’s brieves.
And also that the said Sir Oliver is free of the claim and challenge by
the said William regarding the said charters and evidence, because
the said William admitted in the presence of the lords that with
both their consents the said evidence was delivered to the elect of
Glasgow to be destroyed and was destroyed with their own consent

“ In the action and cause pursued by William Sinclair against the
persons who passed on the serving of a brieve of terce purchased
by Janet [Yeoman], the spouse of the late William, earl of Caithness
and lord Sinclair, for the lands of Cousland, for their error and wrong
determination in the serving of the said brieve because they served
her for the terce of the whole barony of Cousland, as was alleged, and
thereupon showed a confirmation from our sovereign lord under the
great seal made to Sir Oliver Sinclair for feu-ferme of the said lands, and
an act of the lords of council of the same, both the said parties being
present in person, and their reasons and allegations seen, heard and
understood at length, the lords auditors decree and deliver that the
said persons have done wrong† in serving the said brieve because they
found that she should have a terce of the whole barony of Cousland,
the said Sir Oliver being saised of it by the said confirmation of feu-
ferme before the death of the said late William, earl of Caithness, and
decide that the serving of the said terce is of no value in the future.
And if the said Janet can prove by reservation or any other means that
she has a right to the terce of the said lands, that she pursue her right
where it is fitting and justice shall be administered. 9

8 NAS, PA2/4, f.13r-v. [1483/6/42]
9 NAS, PA2/4, f.30r. 1483/10/72

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1494 - 1600 - The Ruthven Lords

In 1494 Cousland passes to the Ruthvens – William 1st Lord Ruthven d.1528 (his
mother was a Cranstoun of that ilk which explains a connection to the area. His
eldest son died at the Battle of Flodden in 1513 )10

In the presence of the lords auditors David Balfour of Cariston and Patrick
Hepburn, procurators for William [Sinclair], lord Sinclair, agreed to warrant William
[Ruthven], lord Ruthven and Isobel, his spouse, the lands of Cowsland, with their
pertinents, according to the form of the charter and infeftment made to them for
that, and agreed the same charter and infeftment in all points according to the
tenor of it, whereupon the said Isobel, lady Ruthven requested a note. 11

Note: The castle that now stands within Area 1, could indeed have been built
at this point, as the style does indicate a late 15th century origin, and would
correlate well with a new lord of the lands of Cousland.

Interestingly in 1509 there is mention of a dedication of a chapel at Cousland to

St. Catherine by William Lord Ruthven and his wife, Isobel Livingston.

“ “Rex ad manum mortuam confirmauit cartam Willelmi Ruthvene de eodem

militis, domini feodi terrarum de Cowsland, et Willelmi dom. R. ac Isobelle
Levingstoun eius sponse dominorum liberi tenementi earundem, qua in
puram elemosinam concesserunt uni capellano in capella S. Katerine infra
uillam de Cowsland diuina imperpetuum celebraturo, annuum redditum
12 mercarum de terris uille de Cowsland, uic. Edinburgh “

The King has confirmed in mortmain a charter of William Ruthven, of that

Ilk, knight, feudal lord of the lands of Cowsland, and William, lord Ruthven,
and Isabella Livingston, his wife, lords of the free holding of the lands of
Cowsland --- by which, they granted in pure alms, to one chaplain in the
chapel of St Catherine, within the town of Cowsland, who will celebrate
divine service, for ever, the yearly income of 12 marks from the lands of

the town of Cowsland, shire of Edinburgh.12

10 This conflict began when King James declared war on England, to honour the Auld Alliance with France
by diverting Henry VIII’s English troops from their campaign against the French king Louis XII. England was
involved in a larger conflict; defending Italy and the Pope from the French, (see Italian Wars), as a member
of the “Catholic League”. Using the pretext of revenge for the murder of Robert Kerr, a warden of the Scottish
East March, who had been killed by John “The bastard” Heron in 1508, James of Scotland invaded England
with an army of about 30,000 men.

The battle actually took place near the village of Branxton, in the county of Northumberland, rather than
at Flodden — hence the alternative name of Battle of Branxton. The Scots had previously been stationed
at Flodden Edge, to the south of Branxton. On September the 9th 1513, the battle was fought, and the
slaughter of the Scots was great, with James IV dying on the battlefield after leading a doomed charge, his
body was only discovered the following day, and only after some difficulty, stripped, as it was, of his armour
and mangled by several wounds. James was the last British monarch to be killed in battle. Every noble
family in Scotland was supposed to have lost a member at Flodden. The dead are remembered by the song
(and pipe tune) “The Flowers of the Forest”;

We’ll hae nae mair lilting, at the yowe-milking,

Women and bairns are dowie and wae.
Sighing and moaning, on ilka green loaning,
The flowers of the forest are all wede away.

11 NAS, PA2/6, 2nd part, f.36r. [1494/11/134]

12 RMS II/James IV/3358 (Great Seal) from the Database of Dedications to Saints in Medieval Scotland
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William 2nd Lord Ruthven succ.1528 d.1552, grandson of the above, married
Jonet, eldest daughter and coheir of Patrick, Lord Haliburton of Dirleton. Although
he was a supporter of James V he refused to sit on the trial of Lady Glammis for
treason and was an early supporter of the vernacular Bible but was also loyal to
Mary of Guise. He was probably born ca.1500.

On the 25th February 1529 there is a reference to the “Burning of Cousland” by

Patrick Charteris as part of a feud with Lord Ruthven (almost certainly stemming
from burgh politics in Perth).

Patrick Charteris of Cuthilgurdy, a near kinsman of the laird of Kinfauns, and

who had been provost of Perth, from 1521 to 1523, both inclusive, and in 1525,
and again in 1527 provost and sheriff, found Robert Maule of Panmure as his
cautioner that he would underlie the law for art and part of the fire-raising and
burning of the village of Cowsland and houses therof, and for the plunder of
oxen, cattle and other goods, from the tenants thereof, and from William Lord
Ruthven; and on 28th of the same month, John Charteris, his brother, and eleven
others, found security to answer for the same crime. 13

Only 18 years later, Cousland would have witnessed the terrible Battle of Pinkie
in 1547. The Ruthven’s do not seem to be involved at Pinkie as the now elderly
William, the second Lord is active in Perth and Patrick, his son, is pro-English at
this point and is even trying to surrender Perth to the English. Therefore the story
that the English burn the castle at Cousland would not make sense, given that, at
this time, the Ruthven are friendly with the English.

Patrick 3rd Lord Ruthven – born ca.1520, succ.1552 died 1566. is an early and
committed Protestant. And in 1553 there was a contract between him and Isobel
Mauchane concerning the Magdalen Chapel. The Magdalen chapel was a chapel/
charitable institution in Edinburgh’s Cowgate - a pre-reformation foundation
with a chaplain and seven bedesmen, for the benefit of Edinburgh’s hammermen
(metal workers). It looks like Patrick gives them a permanent endowment but
without examining the original documents this has yet to be confimed, and
interestingly Patrick seems keen on helping craftsmen.

“ “Ruthven played a critical role in upholding the interests of Perth’s

craftsmen burgesses and in negotiating a compromise with the queen
regent, Mary of Guise, which protected at least some of the craft
privileges. His actions appear to have won him crucial support in the
burgh, especially among the craftsmen burgesses, support which

persisted into 1559 and the conversion of Perth to the Reformation.” 14

The documents belonging to this mortification include some twenty-one

contracts, sasines, decreets, etc., and one of them, dated 4th May 1553, sufficiently
explains the transaction.

13 See Pitcairn’s Criminal Trials, vol.1, part 1 p.85

14 Dictionary of National Biography

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“ “Contract betwixt Patrick, Lord Ruthven and Issobelle Mauchane relict

of Gilbert Lawder,burgess of Edinburgh, whereby the said Lord Ruthven
for the sum of £1000 Scots lent to him by the said Issobelle Mauchane
obliged himself to infeft her in the Barony of Cousland”. 15

This is the tenor of the original contract, and it was predated by one day by a
renunciation by Lady Ruthven of her conjunct fee and life rent of the lands of
Cousland. The whole being finally confirmed under the Great Seal on 23rd May
1553. On the 29th April 1554 was given a precept of sasine by the said Issobelle
in favour of the bedemen, in which she mortified the sum of £50 Scots (£4, 3s.
4d. sterling) from the lauds of Cousland, followed by a contract between the said
Issobelle Mauchane and the Hammermen, dated 24th July 1555, for employing
the said sum to the bedesmen’s use

1553 - 58 there are several records of lime production in Cousland16

Extracts from the Accounts: Town Treasurer, 1553-4’

Heir followis the expensis maid be Robert Grahame, compter, the yeir of his office,
on the bigging of the Schoir of Leyth, quhilk begane in the moneth of Aprile the
yeir of God Jm vc liiij yeirs, particularie as efter followis:—
The expensis of the first oulk, whilk wes the viij dayis precedand the vij day of the
said moneth of Aprile:—
Item, for ane dozone [loads] Cousland lyme, xvi shillings

Accounts of Dean of Guild 1554

Heirefter followis the Compt of Johne Symsoun, Dene of Gild, of his Charge in the
yeir of God Jm vc fifty foure yers; his entres beand the viij of October the yeir of
God Jm ve and liij yers precedand:—

Item, bocht the xij day of October, foure laids (loads) of Cousland lyme,vs iiijd
(5s 4d) ( This would make a load 1s 4d)

6th March 1558 – Edinburgh Council agreement with Lime men of

Lindesay, Makdougall.

My lordis presidentis baillies and counsale forsaid ordanis maister James Lindesay
baillie, and Sir William M’Dougall maister of werk, to contract and aggre with the
lyme men of Cousland for furnessing of lyme to the wallis of the toun, and thay
to be the price makaris thairof allanerlie.

15 Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland 2002 vol 061 pp.251-8

16 J. D. Marwick (editor) Extracts from the Records of the Burgh of Edinburgh: 1528-1557 (1871)

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1566 Patrick, Lord Ruthven, Cousland and the Riccio Murder

“On the evening of 9 March 1566 Ruthven made a dramatic appearance in the
queen’s chamber in Holyrood House while Mary was at supper with her friends.
Ash-white from his illness, visibly wearing full armour under his nightgown, he
demanded, ‘Let it please your majesty that yonder man David come forth of your
privy chamber where he hath been overlong’ (Fraser, 252), before giving a barely
coherent recitation of the secretary’s misdeeds. His accomplices then dragged
Riccio out of the room and stabbed him to death, after which Ruthven returned
to the queen’s presence and asked for wine.

Ruthven remained on guard with his men at the palace for two days, assuring the
queen’s attendants and the burgesses of Edinburgh that no harm was intended
to the queen. Furthermore, he reassured those who questioned what was
happening by telling them that he was acting at the insistance of Lord Darnley.
Mary soon escaped, however, and regained the upper hand, and Darnley equally
quickly denied any part in or knowledge of the affair. Consequently Ruthven and
his accomplices were forced to flee to England, after which they were tried in
absentia and subjected to forfeiture for treason and non-compearance.” 17

Some of Ruthven’s force guarding the palace came from Cousland and there are
records of at least two of his tenants being there.

April 6th 1566 John Hunter in Cowsland and John Smith elder in Cowsland
(among others from Dalkeith Musselburgh etc) found surety to underlie the Law
for the treasonable watching ,warding and imprisoning of our sovereign lady in
her Palace of Holyrood18

Patrick Lord Ruthven flees to England where he writes his account of the Riccio
murder and dies 16th May 1566. William his son was also involved in the murder
and also fled to England.

1567 William , Lord Ruthven, Cousland and Carberry Hill

William 4th Lord Ruthven later 1st Earl of Gowrie. born ca.1543 succ. 1566. is
executed 4th May 1584 for his part in the Ruthven Raid kidnap of James VI

1567- Mary surrenders to the confederate lords at Carberry Hill. The army of the
lords halts at Cousland for about eight hours.

15 June 1567 “the lords made great haste until they came to the Magdalen brig
at Musselburgh and there the two armies being in each others sight strove
continually from five o clock in the morning till noon against each other to have
the advantage and pre-eminence of the sun and there after the lords strove so
for the sun that they passed to Cousland, and the Queen’s grace and her army
remained on the height at Carberry where they stayed til eight hours at night”

William 4th Lord Ruthven is one of the confederate lords, when Mary was
imprisoned in Loch Leven castle and he was also one of those entrusted with
securing her abdication

17 Dictionary of National Biography

18 Pitcairn’s Criminal Trials vol 1 part III pp.482-483

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Walter Scott tells the story of Ruthven telling Mary to abdicate.

“ Madam,” said Ruthven, “I will deal plainly with you. Your reign, from the
dismal field of Pinkie- cleuch, when you were a babe in the cradle, till
now that ye stand a grown dame before us, hath been such a tragedy
of losses, disasters, civil dissensions and foreign wars, that the like is not
to be found in our chronicles. The French and English have, with one
consent, made Scotland the battle-field on which to fight out their own
ancient quarrel.
Forourselves, every man’s hand hath been against his brother, nor hath
a year passed over without rebellion and slaughter, exile of nobles,
and oppressing of the commons. We may endure it no longer; and,
therefore, as a prince, to whom God hath refused the gift of hearkening
to wise counsel, and on whose dealings and projects no blessing hath
ever descended, we pray you to give way to other rule and governance

of the land, that a remnant may yet be saved to this distracted.
Walter Scott, The Abbot, p.72

Ruthven is active at the battle of Langside against Mary and after in the post
1570 civil war as a King’s man. As warden of the East march he is active in Lothian
in 1573. As treasurer he finds himself liable for overspending by the Duke of
Lennox – this will lead to him ‘wadsetting’ Cousland to raise cash (using it as
security for loans)

In 1580 Cousland is used as security again and life rent to James Richardson of
Smeaton from 1585.19 This is registered in the Books of Council and session the
Register of Deeds at NAS.

James Richardson of Smeaton really and with effect disbursed and paid to the late
William [Ruthven], earl of Gowrie, lord Ruthven and Dirleton, the sum of £4,000
of his own proper money and bestowed by the said late earl upon his own affairs,
tending to his utility and profit; for security of the which sum of £4,000, the said
late William, earl of Gowrie, bound and obliged him to infeft the said James in
liferent and Robert Richardson, his son lawful, his heirs and assignees, in fee and
heritage in all and whole an annualrent of £400 usual money of this realm yearly,
to be uplifted at two terms in the year, Whitsunday [May/June] and Martinmas
[11 November] in winter, by equal portions, of all and whole the town and lands
of Cousland, with the parts, pendicles and pertinents thereof, lying within the
sheriffdom of Edinburgh, to be held of him and his heirs as in the contract made
between them thereupon at Edinburgh on 24 May 1580, registered in the books
of council, at more length

19 NAS, PA2/13, ff.52v-53r.

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1581- William 4th Lord made 1st Earl of Gowrie

The Ruthven raid 1582 - in increasing financial trouble, Gowrie kidnaps the

“The duke [of Lennox’s] regime had spent lavishly on the royal household,
moreover, and as treasurer Gowrie was obliged to cope with the resulting deficits,
to the extent of having to wadset his own lands (including Cousland) in order to
support the financial burdens of his office. The result was the coup d’état of 23
August 1582 known as the Ruthven raid , whereby Gowrie, supported by the
earls of Angus and Glencairn and by many lairds and ministers, seized the person
of the king and ousted Lennox from power. As befitted the man who gave his
name to the raid, Gowrie was a leading figure in the regime that followed. He
took steps to protect his own interests—one of the purposes of a tax imposed
in April 1583 was to repay the crown’s debts to himself—but his administration
also made efforts to control royal household expenditure.” New Dictionary of
National Biography

1583 Wiliam and Dorothea Stewart his countess infeft (place in control) James
Johnston of Elphinstone in the mains of Cousland, Holyroodhouse on 24
December 1583 21

1584 – The execution of Gowrie, forfeiture of Cousland and other lands to Earl of
Arran Though Gowrie is intially pardoned after he falls from power, his enemies
soon move against him. He’s accused of witchcraft, treason and and conferring
with a sorcerer, found guilty of treason, Gowrie was executed at Stirling on 4 May
1584 and all his lands were forfeited.

“the property of the lands of Carnock and of the lands of Wells, and also the feu
mails of the lands of Dirleton, Cousland and Kirknewton and others contained
in the infeftment made to his grace’s right trusty cousin, James [Stewart], earl of
Arran,” 22

Act of Parliament confirms 1583 charter and grants that the said James Johnston
of Elphinstone, his heirs and assignees peaceably possess and enjoy the said
mains and lands of Cousland. A charter of the Great Seal is to confirm this. 23

However in 1586 we see the restoration of the Gowries with James 2nd Earl of
Gowrie (5th Lord Ruthven) with him unfortunately dying in 1588

On the 14th February 1586 letters of Horning at the bedemen’s instance were
taken out against the Earl of Gowrie and his tenants at Cousland, and on the 14th
April following a precept by the Countess of Gowrie on her factors was granted
20 On August 22, 1582, the Raid of Ruthven conspiracy composed of several Presbyterian nobles, led by
William Ruthven, 1st Earl of Gowrie, abducted King James VI of Scotland and kept him for almost a year.
The earl of Gowrie remained at the head of the government. The Gowries favoured an ultra-protestant
regime but were also prompted by an urge to curb excessive spending at court. A number of cost saving
measures for the royal household were proposed by Gowrie and his exchequer colleagues. These were
described as ‘havand respect to the order of the hous of your hieness goudsire King James the fifth of
worthie memorie and to the possibilitie of your majesties present rents’ a reference to the thriftiness of
James V.[1]
The king gained his freedom at St Andrews in July 1583. The earl of Gowrie was pardoned in 1583, but kept
plotting and was later beheaded for high treason.
21 NAS, PA2/13, ff.53r-v. 1585
22 NAS, PA2/13, ff.11v-13r. Parliament records
23 NAS, PA2/13, ff.53r-v.23
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to the bedemen of £25 Scots for the Martinmas term by past, and the like yearly
and termly in all time coming. The result of this was an increase of pension to
three bedemen; Adam Gibson received a money payment of £3 Scots, and in
addition a bedemanship during all the days of his life, “ and that for guid thankful
dilligent service done by him heretofore and to be done hereafter.” The patrons
were greatly benefited by the advice of Mr David Macgill as their law agent in the
matter. 24

1588 - John as the 3rd Earl and 6th Lord Ruthven.

In the year 1600 is the infamous but little known ‘Gowrie conspiracy’ 25 with
John alleged to have been involved in a plot to assassinate James VI – a plot that
left him and his younger brother and heir Alexander dead after which he was
posthumously attainted for treason. Once again, only 14 years after their lands
had been returned, the Gowries forfeit everything.

1600 - 1620 - The Herries ownership

Cousland is forfeited and gifted by the Crown to Sir Hugh Herries for his part in
rescuing the King from the supposed assassination attempt but the lands are still
in the hands of Dorothea Stewart the widowed countess, so he is given a pension
from Scone until he can possess the lands fully.

As likewise excepting and reserving out and from the said annexation all and
whole the lands and teinds of Cousland with all and sundry their pertinents,
which lands and teinds with their whole pertinents are likewise ordained by his
majesty and estates to be conveyed heritably to his highness’s faithful and trusty
servant Sir Hugh Herries, knight, for great, seen, profitable and necessary causes
of the realm at length expressed in the said Sir Hugh’s infeftment and security
of the said lands and teinds granted to him in this present parliament, which
are held as specially expressed herein, and also excepting and reserving out of
this present annexation the yearly pension of 20 chalders of victual thereof, 10
chalders, 10 bolls of barley, 9 chalders and 6 bolls of meal to be yearly uplifted
and taken by the said Sir Hugh Herries, his heirs and assignees out of the best
and readiest payment of the whole fruits, rents, mail, ferms, kanes, customs and
other duties whatsoever of the lands and lordship of Scone and Gowrie until the
infeftment of the lands and barony of Cousland may take full effect by possession
in their persons, either by decease of Dame Dorothy Stewart, countess of Gowrie,
or by the eviction of the same lands and barony of Cousland from her by the law,
and as soon as the said Sir Hugh Herries or his foresaids shall happen to recover
or enjoy all and whole the said lands and barony of Cousland and teinds thereof
that then the said letter of pension to remain with his highness’s crown for ever.

24 PSAS 1927
25 Although the Gowrie conspiracy is shrouded in mystery, three solutions have been proposed. Firstly,
that Gowrie and his brother lured King James (at that time king only of Scotland) to Gowrie House for the
purpose of either murdering or kidnapping him, that James paid a surprise visit to Gowrie House with
the intention of murdering the two Ruthvens, or that the events were the outcome of an unpremeditated
brawl between the king and the earl, or his brother.

Although all three theories have had historical proponents, the most modern scholarship suggests that
there was a genuine conspiracy by Gowrie and his brother to kidnap King James.
26 NAS, PA2/16, f.12v-13v.
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Teinds continue to go to Dunfermline the Abbey revenues now belong to Anne
of Denmark, The Queen, and this teind, or debt, indeed stretches back to the
medieval period and is only fully paid off by the Dalrymples in the mid 19th

Within an Act in favour of Sir Hugh Herries regarding an infeftment to be made

to him of the lands of Cousland and 20 chalders of victual out of Scone we find
the following line, which clearly states the tower and fotalice is still standing, and
obviously roofed. The full document can be found online. 27

“ ….to the said Sir Hugh, his heirs and assignees in special security and
warrandice of the said town, lands and barony of Cousland, with the teinds
thereof and their pertinents principally conveyed as said is; and also that
the same infeftment shall contain an union and erection of the said town,
lands and barony of Cousland, with the tower, fortalice, manor place,
houses, buildings, yards, orchards, dovecots, mills, multures, tenants,
tenancies, service of free tenants thereof, advocation and donation of the
chaplainry thereof and all their pertinents in a whole and free barony, to

be called in all time coming the barony of Cousland,….

Sir Hugh dies by 1602 and he is succeeded briefly by his brother David who was a
ships Captain and burgess of Dundee but he dies of the plague at ‘Ratleiffe’ near
London in 1603. He is succeeded as baron of Cousland by his young son and heir
George. But unbelievably outliving everyone so far, Dorothea Stewart Countess
of Gowrie is still alive in 1605 and clinging onto Cousland, as it cannot pass on
fully until her death.

On 15th March 1620 George Herries is confirmed as heir to Sir Hugh and to the
Barony of Cousland, but he quickly sells the property to Sir George Hay, later Earl
of Kinnoull 28

28 Miscellanea Genealogica Et Heraldica: Fourth Series, edited by W. Bruce Bannerman, republished 2001
by Adamant Media Corporation pp.249-252)

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1620 - 1635 Hays of Kinfauns, Earls of Kinnoull

Sir George Hay was an influential and powerful man and also an early industrialist
with patents for iron manufacture and glass manufacture, he was also the Lord
Chancellor of Scotland (1622)

When Cousland was under his ownership they have a witch-hunt in the year

The accused witches were -

April 1st 1630 Elizabeth Selkirk – commission to try her granted to Sir James
McGill of Cranstoun Riddel 29

April 21st 1630 Margaret Allane, Margzret Veitche, Janet Patersoun ‘prisoners in
the Tolbooth of Cowsland’ - commission to try them to Sir Samuel Johnestoun
of Elphinstoun. 30

May 26th Commission to Sir Samuel Johnestoun of Elphinstoun to apprehend

and examine John Phenick tailor in Cousland, Marioun Bankes his spouse, Agnes
his daughter, Janet Richardson, Marion Anderson, Christian Steill, Giles Swintoun
(this could be the female name Geillis ) long suspected of witchcraft’. They’ve
been accused by others who have now been executed. The examination is to be
reported in writing to the Privy Council. 31

July 8th Commission to Sir Samuel Johnestoun of Elphinstoun to try John

Phenick who’s been apprehended32

We know they were held in the tollbooth in Cousland, which could have been the
castle, given that it is the only secure building in the settlement. The suggestion
is that the number of people involved represents a local dispute behind the

George Hay 1st Earl of Kinnoull dies in 1634 and is succeeded by George Hay
2nd Earl of Kinnoul d.1644, the Hays hold the lands until 12th September 1639
after which it passes to the Macgills

28 Miscellanea Genealogica Et Heraldica: Fourth Series, edited by W. Bruce Bannerman, republished 2001
by Adamant Media Corporation pp.249-252)
29 Register of the Privy Council 2nd series vol 3 p518
30 Register of the Privy Council 2nd series vol 3 p.534
31 Register of the Privy Council 2nd series vol 3 p.544
32 Register of the Privy Council 2nd series vol 3 p.602

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1635-1690 The Macgills of Cranstoun Riddell, later Viscounts

The is an original charter to Sir James Makgil August 16th 1639 and when the
Gowries are restored (yet again) in the person of Patrick Gowrie, MacGill has

Cousland confirmed to him and a new charter is created in 8th September
And it is hereby expressly provided and ordained that the foresaid rehabilitation
granted by our said sovereign lord to and in favour of the said Patrick Ruthven,
with the ratification above-written of the parliament interposed thereto, shall
be in no way hurtful nor prejudicial to George [Hay], earl of Kinnoull and Sir
James MacGill of Cranstoun-Riddel, knight, one of the senators of the college
of justice, of their rights and possession of the lands of Cousland and teinds
and whole pertinents thereof, and of a lodging and dwelling house in the
town of Perth, but that notwithstanding of the rehabilitation and ratification
and reduction of the act of parliament in the year 1600, the said Earl of Kinnoull
and Cranstoun-Riddel, their heirs and successors, shall hold and possess the
said lodging and dwelling house in Perth and the said lands of Cousland,
whole teinds and pertinents thereof, according to their rights, securities and
possession, which the said Patrick Ruthven, his heirs nor successors shall never

be heard to quarrel nor impinge in any sort. 33

1641, as an Act of parliament in his favour

James Macgill becomes Viscount Oxfurd 1651 but his patent of nobility is not
read in parliament till 13th March 1661, of course at this time we have the small
matter of the Civil War, and in 1650, there is the great defeat of the Scots at

He dies 5th May 1663 and is succeeded by his son Robert Makgill, 2nd Viscount
of Oxfuird d.1706
It is now in the 1690s that the Dalrymples of Oxenfoord & Stair take possesion
of the lands of Cousland as is listed here

It may be no coincidence that the Dalrymples take the lands in the 1690s, the
“Titles of estates other than Stair: Cousland writs. Disposition by John, Earl
of Lauderdale, to Sir James Dalrymple of Kinloch, one of the principal clerks
of session, of 100 merks yearly of teind duty payable furth of the lands and
barony of Cousland, this duty being part of the lordship of Mussillburgh,
now to be disjoined therefrom; with obligation by Lauderdale to deliver to
Dalrymple an inventory of progress of the lordship of Musselburgh since

1649, 26 November 1701.” 34

same time as the collapse of Scotland’s fortunes with the Darien Adventure
And perhaps it is here that we can see the origins of a new life for Cousland,
with the construction of a model village, blacksmith, windmill, pottery and
Walled garden. It is here that we leave the history of Cousland, as with the
archaeology, more work is needed to piece together the fragments.

The groups have learned greatly from the studies conducted, and with access
to further documentary evidence, married to archaeology, the story to the
present is possible.
33 NAS, PA2/22, f.341r-343r.
34 In 1698 the Scots tried to set up a trading colony in Darien (now part of Panama) in an attempt to
evade the increasingly negative effects of the English Navigation laws on the Scottish economy. The
Darien Adventure failed with disastrous implications for the Scottish economy. Its failure became one of
the contributory economic factors in the abolition of the independent Scottish Parliament and the Act of
Union in 1707.
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5.2 Pottery Field – Area 2

It was understood that a pottery works stood in or near Cousland, and an advert
in the Edinburgh Courier gave a clue to its size, if not its actual location. A road
to the west of Cousland is still known as Pottery Brae, and so it was decided to
concentrate an investigation in this area to confirm location, date and type of
pottery works that may have existed.

5.2.1 Geophysics (Edinburgh Archaeological Field Society)

(Figure 4)

The completed report for the geophysics in the pottery field is

still to be produced by the EAFS, however, using the initial results
from the magnetometre it was possible to pinpoint sub surface
features. Six circular targets were identified in the survey area,
and the main concentration of these are tentatively identified as
kilns or perhaps pits for dumping wasters, kiln furniture and kiln
bricks. The magnetometre is sensitive to heat affected areas,
and so structures like kilns would be highly likely to appear on
a survey. The resistivity survey has still to be completed to the
northwest, this form of geophysics is best suited for walls and
certain features were recognised in the initial plot. This survey
was conducted simultaneously with the field walking, and both
were able to feed into the evaluation trench.

Above: Magnetometer

Left: Magetometer Plot

Below: creating the site

grid for the geophysics
and fieldwalking

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5.2.2 Field Walking (Figure 4)

The area was divided into 5 metre squares, 4 deep, and parallel to the road. 28
squares were examined in total. All artefacts were collected, cleaned, examined
and plotted on a computer to view distributions and types of material recovered.
By the careful collection of everything in those squares, the plotted material
showed a real correlation with the geophysics results. Most interestingly, the
types and dates of the material began to show a possibility that we were dealing
with an early industrial pottery, perhaps related to the period when Scottish
redwares were being replaced with the new type of pottery – the Whiteware.
18th century whitewares, of the type found in the second half of the century,
continued into early 19th century forms, though not in the same abundance.
Kiln furniture, used to stack pottery in kilns, as well as the bricks used in the
construction of these structures, confirmed that this was not material brought
in, but was related to the geophysical annomolies that had been observed.
The potential existed that this was indeed the lost pottery, and we had located
the Cousland works, it was felt that excavation would confirm the survival and
presence of structures beneath the ploughsoil

Left: Collection of
artefacts in the grid

Below left: Finds ready

for processing

Below right: Working

together to ensure
everything is found

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5.2.3 Excavation (Figure 4)

Excavation was carried out on the following day after the locations of a suitable
feature was confirmed. A small trench 4 metres by 2 was opened over an
area where kiln material and bricks as well as geophysics suggested surviving
structures. Only 0.20m beneath the surface, a course of handmade bricks was
uncovered, and further investigation revealed they formed a wall, two bricks
wide, bonded with mortar. To the south was a clay surface, while to the north, the
wall continued down for 3 courses, and a heat affected area was uncovered over
what is thought to be a floor surface at a depth of c. 0.40m. The main purpose
of this exercise was to confirm the survival of structures, and possible function. Below left: : Opening
Stratified material was removed from the base level, a partial hemispherical lead the evaluation trench
glazed redware bowl which was in situ, as all the sherds were conjoining, dated
Below right: Solid
to the 1760s which would suggest this was indeed an early East Coast Pottery, evidence of the pottery;
and the remarkable survival was exciting, given its location in a ploughed field. a brick wall and floor.
This is a site worth excavating further.

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5.2.4 Ceramic Report (George Haggarty)

Analyses of the ceramic material recovered from the episode of field walking
carried out over the possible 18th century creamware pottery production site
near Cousland in Midlothian (blocks A to AB), shows that it falls into a number
of distinct groups.

1. (18th century whiteware 1064 shards) 447 glazed & 585 bisque: This
group suggests that either there was at least one 18th century whiteware kiln
in the vicinity or that there was large scale dumping of 18 century ceramic
material on the site. Glazed shards of this ware are not commonly recovered
during normal fieldwalking as it is still a bit expensive and has not filtered down
the social ladder.

2. (19th century whiteware 525 shards) 235 glazed & 297 bisque:
Although some of this material was the normal types of later Victorian pottery
found while fieldwalking, this group suggests either there was at least one early
19th century whiteware kiln in the vicinity, or that there was large scale dumping
of 19 century ceramic material on the site.
Below: Shards
which conjoin to
form fragments of a
hemispherical lead
3. (18th and 19th century redware 242 shards) 192 glazed & 50 bisque: glazed redware bowl:
Much of this material can be hard to date accurately but I am sure that most of Decorated internally
it is of late 18th century date, although some shards are the normal types of with white slip over
which can be seen
late Victorian pottery found while fieldwalking. Again this group suggests that
splodges (almost
either there was at least one late 18th century redware kiln in the vicinity or that certainly manganese).
there was large scale dumping of redware on the site. A common form and
similar to material
From the trial trench a number of stratified conjoining red earthenware shards recovered from the
excavations carried
from a small thrown bowl, dating to c. 1780 were recovered. All 18th century
out at Morrison Haven,
whiteware potteries excavated to-date in the Forth littoral, also produced using Prestonpans: presently
the local red firing clays, a range of both coarse, and as this example, more dated to c 1765-78.
refined red earthenware.

4. (18th and 19th century kiln furniture 177 fragments) Again often hard
to date accurately but definitely all pre c1840 when whiteware potteries began
to use high fired bought in industrially produced examples none of which are in
this assemblage:

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5. (18th 19th & 20th century brown stoneware 13 shards) Common

finds type when fieldwalking and this group probably has no real significance:

6. (18th century white salt glazed stoneware kiln furniture, 2 examples)

These are arguably the most interesting ceramic finds as they are of a very rare
type which to-date have only been recovered in Scotland: Two sites on the coast,
Prestonpans and Bankfoot, which both produced a range of White Salt Glazed
Stoneware and which date from 1750 c.1775: What is strange that no shards
were recovered from the wares?

This assemblage probably posses as many questions as it answers. Certainly Above left: A white
there is a significant quantity of 18th century pottery from the site in both white salt glazed stoneware
creamware and redware bodies, and much of this in the form of kiln furniture kiln stand like the two
found on the pottery
and unglazed shards, indicative of ceramic production. Although there is no site.
documentary evidence for ceramic production into the early 19th century
there is evidence for this from the shard material. Again the limited documents Above: Example
give us no hint that White Salt Glazed Stoneware was produced in the area but of Scottish white
although unlikely it is not impossible but something like the possibility of 19th stoneware and the
marks these stands
century production only archaeology can answer. make on a plate,
presently the only
way which we can
distinguish Scottish
from Staffordshire

Wash, dry, sort, plot

and record

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5.3 Windmill Plantation – Area 3 (Figure 5)

The main purpose behind this investigation was to clear the area of damaging ivy
and a dead tree which was threatening the surviving fabric. Due to the vegetation,
it was difficult to understand the layout, form and size of the Windmill structure.
The intention was to understand the surviving remains, assess the condition, and
investigate the depth of deposits that may survive beneath the surface

5.3.1 Clearance

Using hand tools, the ivy was carefully removed from the walls, pruning back until
it was safe to expose the stonework. Nettles and other vegetation was cut back
to expose the platform and vault, and to allow clearance of loose tree limbs and
rubbish. A dead tree that was located on the southwest corner of the vaulting was
removed, to ease the pressure on the stonework. This was completed and allowed
further investigation. It is worth mentioning that after clearance it was evident
that the windmill mound stood on a larger more rectangular prominence that
stretched to the north. This is definitely worth further investigation, to understand
its purpose and date.

Before clearance

During clearance

After clearance
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Area 1

Area 2
Area 3

Area 1

Area 3
Area 2

Figure No. 8: General Roy circa 1750-52

1st Ed OS map: 1854
Big Cousland Dig - Community Archaeology Project

northwest facing internal elevation

evaluation trench 2

northeast southwest

rubble build behind vault

front wall located
in excavation
evaluation trench 1 elevation

0 10 m


Front wall Arch spring

0 5m
reconstructed cross-section
northeast facing



Figure No. 9: Northwest facing internal elevation of Windmill vault

Plan of site and trenches
Reconstruction of principal elevation.
Big Cousland Dig - Community Archaeology Project
5.3.2 Excavation (Figure 9)

Excavation was limited to two exploratory trenches. A small 4 x 2 metre trench

was excavated on the top of the mound to confirm if the wall of the windmill
survived. Only just beneath the topsoil, around 0.05m below the surface, a
layer of rubble was uncovered, on the line of the wall. No further excavation
was required, as this confirmed the presence of the structure. In the north east
corner of the collapsed vaulted chamber, a deep test pit was sunk to investigate
the depth of deposits and the potential makeup of a floor surface. It was found
that over 1.20m of deposit fills the vaulted chamber, and that the opening of the
vault, had a wall running across it, as with other similar East Lothian Windmills,
such as the Balgone windmill at North Berwick.
Far left: debris from the
collapsed wall of the
Left: Investigating the
vault infil.

5.3.3 Historic Building Record (Figure 9)

A basic record of a single elevation was carried out, and details of the size
and layout were also recorded. Local limestone and sandstone was used for
construction of a low vaulted chamber c. 7.50m in length and 4.70m wide. An
extrapolated height of c. 3.50m has been assumed, with the vault springing from
circa 1.50m above the ground surface. The vaulting is of rubble built slabs of
masonry with a rubble core behind, mixed with mortar. Either side of the vault is
buried with soil and held in check with two flanking walls.

The Windmill structure sits to the southwest of the vaulting, and measures
some c. 6m in diametre. It is difficult to suggest a height. This is a very typical
windmill structure of early/mid 18th century date and it is safe to assume that its
construction coincides with Dalrymple ownership of the land.

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5.3.4 Historic Analysis (Iain Fraser RCAHMS)

The remains of a windmill survive in a small plantation on the W edge of the Vaulted tower mill ,
summit (170m OD) of a ridge on the S edge of the village of Cousland. Balgone, East Lothian

The remains are set into the E side of an artificial mound: irregular in plan, the
mound is approximately 20m broad E-W, and 35m N-S. On its S side it rises to
about 1.0m; on the NW, down slope side, it rises to about 1.8m in height. Flat-
topped, it falls steeply on its W side.

Set into the E side of the mound are the remains of a vaulted structure, aligned
NE-SW. The opposing N and S walls, of lime mortar-bonded rubble indicate
a vault of at least 8.0m in length, and 4.2m in breadth. The walls survive to a
maximum height of 1.8m. Much of the facing stonework has been lost, but what
survives preserves the springing of a semi-circular arch. There are no indications
of a return wall at the E end of the structure, and the W ends of the walls merge
into the mound. No visible remains survive of the tower on the top of the mound.
However, the root plates of wind thrown
trees reveal considerable quantities of
loose stone and lime mortar in the area
that it would have occupied.

This form of windmill, comprising a low

tower set upon a vaulted substructure,
is conventionally attributed to the late
17th or early 18th centuries. Some
indication of the date of construction
may be provided by Adair’s 1682 map
of East Lothian, which depicts both the
Penston and Prestonpans windmills,
but not that of Cousland. On the other
hand, although he did mark the village
itself, as Cousland lay outwith the
boundary of the shire, Ainslie may not
have regarded the mill’s omission as
important. Its omission from the 1736
published version of the map is not significant, as this was based upon the
earlier manuscript. More significantly, however, Adair’s 1683 map of Midlothian
does not represent the mill, although if it had existed it would surely have been
a conspicuous element of the landscape. The site is widely visible today from
across the Midlothian coastal plain to the west, and distantly from the East
Lothian coast to the north-east. It is now an anonymous cluster of trees on the
hillcrest to the south of the plantations of the Carberry estate, but prior to the
growth of the trees the windmill would have been a conspicuous landmark on
the Lothian skyline.

The building is first recorded on Roy’s map of c.1750, (Figure 8)which shows it
as a circular structure, within a circular enclosure, and annotated as ‘Windmill’.
Whether this implies that it was still intact and in use is, however, not apparent. It
is next shown on John Lawrie’s map of 1763 as an unannotated circular building,
and again in that of 1766, this time as an unannotated rectangular building,
apparently standing in an area of pasture. Armstrong’s 1773 ‘Map of the Three
page 47
Big Cousland Dig - Community Archaeology Project
Lothians’ depicts the mill in a small perspective view, as a small tower set on a low
hill, annotated ‘Old Wind Mill’. Probably significantly, it is not portrayed as mounting
sails, and presumably was now derelict.

James Knox’s map of 1816 does not mark the building of the mill, although it does
show the outline of the present circular plantation, annotated ‘Old Wind Mill’. In
1828 Sharp, Greenwood and Fowler’s map depict the plantation, and within it, a

The earliest Ordnance Survey depiction, the 1:10560 scale map of 1854-6, shows
a circular structure, presumably intended to represent the tower, within the tree
grown enclosure, named ‘Windmill Plantation. The annotation, ‘Windmill remains
of’ confirms that the mill was, by now, ruinous. The 1:2500 map of 1894 clearly
depicts the rectangular vaulted structure, by then unroofed, set into the NE side of
the mound. The tower is not shown, and had presumably been demolished since
the 1st edition map.

The function of the mill is unclear: the existence of lime quarries and mines in its
vicinity might point to its use as a pump, but its obsolescence by the later 18th
century, when mining and quarrying continued, might rather point to its agricultural
function, a point further confirmed by the vaulted substructure, a feature elsewhere
explained as part of the grain-milling process.

page 48
Big Cousland Dig - Community Archaeology Project
6.0 Conclusions

In terms of success in answering the initial questions that were posed, this HLF
funded project has exceeded expectations. It would be true to say that the history
of Cousland has been effectively rewritten from the early Medieval period around
1110 AD to the beginning of Scotland Industrial Renaissance in the 18th century,
some seven hundred year of history is now compiled. The importance of Cousland
as a place, where decisive events in Scottish History not only affected, but happened,
has been confirmed.

Taking each area in turn, the results for each have been remarkable.

Area 1: The Castle field

We have confirmation that the castle is likely to have been built by the Ruthven
lords around the end of the 15th century. Later, they constructed a Residence,
which hosted the Confederate Lords, and perhaps even Mary Queen of Scots, in
1567. The Walled garden was built much later in the early 18th century, and in the
process, quarried away most of the castle, though the residence remained until at
least 1760. There is definite proof of structures in the south field, though these may
be connected with later quarry works. The Residence, although demolished, does
have surviving archaeology remaining to the south, and could provide evidence for
construction, use and layout.

Area 2: The Pottery field

Examination of the pottery and kiln furniture recovered in the fieldwalking, and
from the small evaluation trench confirm the presence of surviving archaeology. We
now are sure that this is the pottery mentioned in the 1796 Edinburgh Advertiser
as being for sale. This must also be the pottery that James Belfield arrived at in the
mid 18th century from Staffordshire, before moving to Prestonpans, where his son,
Charles set up the Belfield Pottery. This remarkable find is of great importance, as
not only has geophysics shown the presence of kilns and possible waster pits, but
the works themselves will be one of the earliest whiteware potteries in Scotland,
and the beginning of the industrial period. Careful examination of the technologies
used, as well as the pottery produced here, will be of immense value to the study
of Ceramics in Scotland.

Area 3: The Windmill Plantation

The windmill as a standing monument to the history of 18th century Cousland,

stands well alongside the Smiddy and the Walled Garden, as another of the
Dalrymple improvements.
However, the mound it sits on, is unusual, and has been examined for the first time.
Nearby are known long cist burials of possible Early Historic date (9th-11th century)
and this could at last be the final clue to the location of an early Christian religious
establishment. Further Geophysics, detecting and careful excavation could confirm
this extremely important conclusion.

page 49
Big Cousland Dig - Community Archaeology Project

The knowledge gained in this project has been of great importance, and the
outcome has been most satisfactory. The option for extending the work to cover
the period 1700 – 2000 and the pre 1100 occupation cannot be discounted. It is
one that must be seriously considered – along with the continued examination and
display of what has already been found.

The number of people who have been involved, and the varied ages and abilities has
been a great benefit to the project. Learning and enjoyment were easy companions,
and as a community project, supported by the community of Cousland it has been
a great success. The involvement of other groups and societies allowed exchanges
of knowledge and experience that can be used in the future. This is a project that
has a future, and with the skills gained by all involved, this is one that can provide a
future for the village itself.

The site has attracted interest from several bodies, and short publications have
been made in the Scottish Vernacular Buildings Working Group yearly journal, the
Archaeology Scotland magazine is running an article on the project, as is the Past
Horizons Magazine. Notable figures in the RCAHMS and Historic Scotland are taking
an interest in what is found, and the report will be disseminated widely, to ensure
that the maximum number of people is made aware of what is found. In November
2008, a full evening event is taking place with lectures, and discussions as well as
an informal celebration of what has been achieved. There is much still to learn,
and all the individuals and groups involved are keen to continue this discovery of
Cousland’s past.

August 2008

page 50
Cousland Big Dig

Appendix 1 Trench list and Context Register

Trench List – Cousland Big Dig – CBD07 Pottery Field

Trench Description
1 Evaluation – north end of field – abandoned due to bedrock (2m x 2m) Final depth: .1m
2 East - West Orientation (2m x .6m) Final depth: .4m

Trench List – Cousland Big Dig – CBD08 Castle Field

Trench Description
1 East - West Orientation (2m x 10m) Final depth: .4m (sondage at west end to 1.2m)
2 East - West Orientation (2m x 6m) Final depth: .6m (sondage at west end to 1.8m)
3 Square of 5 m with small 2 m x 1 m extension to north .3m (sondage to 1m
4 East - West Orientation (2m x 5m) Final depth: .3m
5 North- South Orientation (2m x 5m) Final depth: .3m

Trench List – Cousland Big Dig – CBD08 Windmill Plantation

Trench Description
1 East - West Orientation (1m x 5m) Final depth: .2m
2 East - West Orientation (1m x 1.2m) Final depth: .9m

Context List – Cousland CBD08 – Castle Field

Context Description
1001 Topsoil
1002 Mid brown clay Silt subsoil infil
1003 Orange brown slightly silty clay with occasional inclusions of degraded sandstone (-
redeposited natural infil – not bottomed
2001 Topsoil
2002 Dark brown clay silt with occasional angular limestone fragments
2003 Mid brown silty clay with frequent angular stone fragments and rubble
2004 Mid to light brown clay silt with occasional shale and stone fragments
2005 Orange brown silty clay with inclusions of pure clay, - quarry backfill
3001 Topsoil
3002 Mid brown clay Silt subsoil infil
3003 Orange brown slightly silty clay with occasional inclusions of degraded sandstone (-
redeposited natural infil – not bottomed
4001 Topsoil
4002 Dark brown clay silt with occasional angular limestone fragments
4003 Dark brown clay silt with frequent stones and mortar
4004 Mid brown clay silt with frequent stones and mortar (interior of structure?)
4005 Mid brown silty clay with frequent mortar (exterior of structure?)
4006 Stone backfill
4007 Base of wall robber cut
5001 Topsoil
5002 Dark brown clay silt with occasional angular limestone fragments
5003 Dark brown clay silt with frequent stones and mortar
5004 Mid brown clay silt with frequent stones and mortar (interior of structure?)
Cousland Big Dig

Appendix 2 Photo Register (Digital.)

Photo Record List – Cousland Big Dig (Pottery Field)– CBD07

Site Code Description Direction to Date
1 CBD07_001 Setting out grid SW 28/11/2007
2 CBD07_002 Setting out grid 28/11/2007
3 CBD07_003 Magnetometer survey - EAFS 28/11/2007
4 CBD07_004 preparing Geophysics Grid - EAFS 28/11/2007
5 CBD07_005 Collection of surface finds 28/11/2007
6 CBD07_006 Collection of surface finds 28/11/2007
7 CBD07_007 Collection of surface finds 28/11/2007
8 CBD07_008 Collection of surface finds 28/11/2007
9 CBD07_009 Resistivity survey under way 28/11/2007
10 CBD07_010 Setting up survey points 28/11/2007
11 CBD07_011 Working on the finds 28/11/2007
12 CBD07_012 Working on the finds 28/11/2007
13 CBD07_013 Working on the finds 28/11/2007
14 CBD07_014 Ceramics being processed 28/11/2007
15 CBD07_015 Ceramics being processed 28/11/2007
16 CBD07_016 Working on the finds 28/11/2007
17 CBD07_017 Working on the finds 28/11/2007
18 CBD07_018 Working on the finds 28/11/2007
19 CBD07_019 Working on the finds George Haggerty and David 28/11/2007
20 CBD07_020 Evaluations of Pottery field in area of anomaly 29/11/2007
21 CBD07_021 Evaluations of Pottery field in area of anomaly 29/11/2007
22 CBD07_022 Evaluations of Pottery field in area of anomaly 29/11/2007
23 CBD07_023 Evaluations of Pottery field in area of anomaly 29/11/2007
24 CBD07_024 Evaluations of Pottery field in area of anomaly 29/11/2007
25 CBD07_025 Evaluations of Pottery field in area of anomaly -
first brick appears 29/11/2007
26 CBD07_026 Evaluations of Pottery field in area of anomaly 29/11/2007
27 CBD07_027 Evaluations of Pottery field in area of anomaly 29/11/2007
28 CBD07_028 Evaluations of Pottery field in area of anomaly 29/11/2007
29 CBD07_029 Evaluations of Pottery field in area of anomaly -
wall is exposed 29/11/2007
30 CBD07_030 Evaluations of Pottery field in area of anomaly 29/11/2007
31 CBD07_031 Evaluations of Pottery field in area of anomaly 29/11/2007
32 CBD07_032 Evaluations of Pottery field in area of anomaly -
wall is exposed 29/11/2007
33 CBD07_033 Evaluations of Pottery field in area of anomaly -
sample taken 29/11/2007
34 CBD07_034 Evaluations of Pottery field in area of anomaly -
depth of walls checked 29/11/2007
35 CBD07_035 General shots 29/11/2007
36 CBD07_036 General shots 29/11/2007
37 CBD07_037 General shots 29/11/2007
38 CBD07_038 General shots 29/11/2007
39 CBD07_039 General shots 29/11/2007
40 CBD07_040 General shots 29/11/2007
41 CBD07_041 Trench shots - wall exposed E 29/11/2007
42 CBD07_042 Trench shots - wall exposed vert 29/11/2007
Cousland Big Dig

Photo Record List – Cousland Big Dig (Pottery Field)– CBD07

Site Code Description Direction to Date
43 CBD07_043 Trench shots - wall exposed vert 29/11/2007
44 CBD07_044 backfill 29/11/2007
45 CBD07_045 George Haggerty and potwashing 29/11/2007
46 CBD07_046 bedrock beneath surface of plough, north
investigation vert 29/11/2007
47 CBD07_047 bedrock beneath surface of plough, north
investigation vert 29/11/2007

Photo Record List – Cousland Big Dig (Castle)– CBD08

Site Code Description Direction to Date
1 CBD08_001 Trench 1, general shot, note beam holes in wall SW 29/03/2008
2 CBD08_002 Trench 1, topsoil removal, context [1002] E 29/03/2008
3 CBD08_003 Trench 1, topsoil removal, context [1002] SW 29/03/2008
4 CBD08_004 General shot, Midlothian YAC in trench 1 29/03/2008
5 CBD08_005 General shot, Midlothian YAC in trench 1 29/03/2008
6 CBD08_006 General shot, Midlothian YAC in trench 1 29/03/2008
7 CBD08_007 Trench 3, topsoil removed [3002] exposed SE 29/03/2008
8 CBD08_008 Trench 3, topsoil removed [3002] exposed SE 29/03/2008
9 CBD08_009 Trench 3, topsoil removed [3002] exposed SE 29/03/2008
10 CBD08_010 General shot of East Lothian YAC and team 30/03/2008
11 CBD08_011 General shot of East Lothian YAC and team 30/03/2008
12 CBD08_012 Trench 3, context [3003] a clay rich layer exposed SE 30/03/2008
in extension
13 CBD08_013 Trench 3, context [3003] a clay rich layer exposed SE 30/03/2008
in extension
14 CBD08_014 Trench 3, slots cut through [3002] down to [3003] SE 30/03/2008
at southwest end of the trench
15 CBD08_015 Trench 2, record shot prior to deturfing SW 31/03/2008
16 CBD08_016 Northwest wall (internal) of Building 2. Series of 9 NW 31/03/2008
for photo retification (see elevation)
17 CBD08_017 Northwest wall (internal) of Building 2. Series of 9 NW 31/03/2008
for photo retification (see elevation)
18 CBD08_018 Northwest wall (internal) of Building 2. Series of 9 NW 31/03/2008
for photo retification (see elevation)
19 CBD08_019 Northwest wall (internal) of Building 2. Series of 9 NW 31/03/2008
for photo retification (see elevation)
20 CBD08_020 Northwest wall (internal) of Building 2. Series of 9 NW 31/03/2008
for photo retification (see elevation)
21 CBD08_021 Northwest wall (internal) of Building 2. Series of 9 NW 31/03/2008
for photo retification (see elevation)
22 CBD08_022 Northwest wall (internal) of Building 2. Series of 9 NW 31/03/2008
for photo retification (see elevation)
23 CBD08_023 Northwest wall (internal) of Building 2. Series of 9 NW 31/03/2008
for photo retification (see elevation)
24 CBD08_024 Northwest wall (internal) of Building 2. Series of 9 NW 31/03/2008
for photo retification (see elevation)
25 CBD08_025 General shot of trench 2 showing location in W 01/04/2008
relation to castle (Building 1)
26 CBD08_026 General shot of trench 2 showing location in S 01/04/2008
relation to castle (Building 1)
27 CBD08_027 General shot of trench 2 showing location in S 01/04/2008
Cousland Big Dig

Photo Record List – Cousland Big Dig (Castle)– CBD08

Site Code Description Direction to Date
relation to castle (Building 1)
28 CBD08_028 Trench 2, turf removed and [2002] a dark brown SW 01/04/2008
stony layer exposed
29 CBD08_029 Trench 1, final deep sondage at northwest end, note SW 01/04/2008
3 layers
30 CBD08_030 Trench 1, final deep sondage at northwest end, note SW 01/04/2008
3 layers
31 CBD08_031 Trench 1, general trench shot showing re-instating 01/04/2008
of turf
32 CBD08_032 Trench 1, general trench shot showing re-instating 01/04/2008
of turf
33 CBD08_033 Trench 2 after removal of [2002] with [2003] SW 01/04/2008
34 CBD08_034 At far end (the rubble) and [2004] a lighter and less SW 01/04/2008
stony layer
35 CBD08_035 Trench 4 after removal of topsoil SE 03/04/2008
36 CBD08_036 Trench 2. Rubble layer [2003] exposed and [2004] SW 03/04/2008
37 CBD08_037 Trench 2. Rubble layer [2003] exposed and [2004] SW 03/04/2008
38 CBD08_038 Trench 2. Rubble layer [2003] exposed and [2004] SW 03/04/2008
39 CBD08_039 Trench 2. Rubble layer from above NW 03/04/2008
40 CBD08_040 Trench 5 after removal of topsoil [5001] SW 04/04/2008
41 CBD08_041 General shot 04/04/2008
42 CBD08_042 General shot 04/04/2008
43 CBD08_043 General shot 04/04/2008
44 CBD08_044 Trench 4 after removal of [4002] robbed wall SE 04/04/2008
45 CBD08_045 Close up of trench 4 after removal of [4002] robbed SE 04/04/2008
wall exposed
46 CBD08_046 Trench 2, layer [2005] clay SW 04/04/2008
47 CBD08_047 Trench 2, layer [2005] clay, southwest end SW 04/04/2008
48 CBD08_048 Southwest wall external shot of castle S 04/04/2008
49 CBD08_049 Southwest wall external shot of castle S 04/04/2008
50 CBD08_050 General shot of child in a cupboard SE 04/04/2008
51 CBD08_051 Trench 4, [4002] SE 04/04/2008
52 CBD08_052 General shot of Lodgings SE 04/04/2008
53 CBD08_053 General shot of Lodgings SE 04/04/2008
54 CBD08_054 General shot of Lodgings, Trench 5 04/04/2008
55 CBD08_055 General shot of Lodgings, Trench 4 04/04/2008

Photo Record List – Cousland Big Dig (Windmill Plantation)– CBD08

Photo ID Description Direction to Date
BCG08W01 BCGW General view of windmill pre clearance SW 05/07/2008
BCG08W02 BCGW General view of windmill during clearance NE 05/07/2008
BCG08W03 BCGW General view of windmill during clearance NE 05/07/2008
BCG08W04 BCGW General view of windmill during clearance E 05/07/2008
General view of windmill during clearance and
BCG08W05 BCGW trench 2 NE 05/07/2008
BCG08W06 BCGW trench 2 being excavated vert 05/07/2008
BCG08W07 BCGW trench 2 being excavated vert 05/07/2008
BCG08W08 BCGW trench 2 being excavated vert 05/07/2008
Cousland Big Dig

Photo Record List – Cousland Big Dig (Windmill Plantation)– CBD08

Photo ID Description Direction to Date
BCG08W09 BCGW Gereal shot 05/07/2008
BCG08W10 BCGW Gereal shot 05/07/2008
BCG08W11 BCGW Gereal shot 05/07/2008
BCG08W12 BCGW General view of windmill during clearance SW 05/07/2008
BCG08W13 BCGW General view of windmill during clearance SW 05/07/2008
BCG08W14 BCGW General view of windmill during clearance SW 05/07/2008
BCG08W15 BCGW trench 1 - rubble collapse of windmill VERT 05/07/2008
BCG08W16 BCGW trench 1 - rubble collapse of windmill VERT 05/07/2008
BCG08W17 BCGW trench 1 - rubble collapse of windmill VERT 05/07/2008
BCG08W18 BCGW General view of windmill after clearance NE 05/07/2008
BCG08W19 BCGW Internal elevation showing vault SE 05/07/2008
BCG08W20 BCGW Internal elevation showing vault SE 05/07/2008
BCG08W21 BCGW Internal elevation showing vault SE 05/07/2008
BCG08W22 BCGW Internal elevation showing vault SE 05/07/2008
BCG08W23 BCGW Internal elevation showing vault NW 05/07/2008
BCG08W24 BCGW Internal elevation showing vault NW 05/07/2008
BCG08W25 BCGW trench 2 showing wall foundations VERT 05/07/2008
BCG08W26 BCGW trench 2 showing wall foundations VERT 05/07/2008
BCG08W01 BCGW General view of windmill pre clearance SW 05/07/2008
BCG08W02 BCGW General view of windmill during clearance NE 05/07/2008
BCG08W03 BCGW General view of windmill during clearance NE 05/07/2008
BCG08W04 BCGW General view of windmill during clearance E 05/07/2008
Big Cousland Dig - Community Archaeology Project

CBD07 Pottery Field

Big Cousland Dig - Community Archaeology Project

CBD07 Pottery Field

CBD08 Castle Field

Big Cousland Dig - Community Archaeology Project

CBD08 Castle Field

CBD08W Windmill Plantation

Big Cousland Dig - Community Archaeology Project

CBD08W Windmill Plantation

Cousland Big Dig

Appendix 3 Artefact List

Artefact Record List – CBD08 - Cousland Castle Field

Trench Context Description
1 1001 Various FE objects including nails, screws, springs, brackets and fittings
4 fragments terracotta pantile
8 fragments of shell
3 glass body fragments and 1 bottle rim
1 clay pipe bowl fragment and 1 stem attached to partial bowl
Various small pottery sherds

1 1002 Various glass body fragments

1 piece melted plastic
Various small pottery sherds and 1 small waster
3 lumps of kiln waster material
9 oyster shell fragments and 1 whole oyster shell
3 fragments of coal and 1 fragment of industrial material
12 fragments of terracotta pantile
2 bone fragments
1 blackened clay pipe stem
1 button
Various FE objects including nails, screws, springs, brackets and fittings and 1 horse harness
Various pieces of wood , some showing evidence of burning
1 large FE bracket
2 2001 Various small glass fragments
1 fragment terracotta pantile
3 shell fragments
1 clay pipe stem
Various FE objects, nails, 1 bracket and top of gun cartridge
Various small pottery sherds
1 small piece lead

2 2002 Various small pottery sherds

2 FE nails and 1 small bracket
3 fragments of terracotta pantile
1 piece slag
9 oyster shell fragments and 3 other shells
2 fragments clay pipe bowl and 1 stem
Assorted small bone fragments
Assorted small glass body fragments
2 fragments slate/shist
1 bone/ivory toggle/peg

2 2003 1 lump of kiln brick

5 bone fragments
3 fragments of oyster shell and 1 other shell
Various glass body fragments
5 small pottery sherds
2 fragments slate
1 snapped (2 pieces) pipe stem with glaze
1 piece slag
Cousland Big Dig

Artefact Record List – CBD08 - Cousland Castle Field

Trench Context Description
2 2004 1 large FE nail and 1 small bracket
7 small ceramic sherds
1 small fragment glass
4 fragments oyster shell
4 bone fragments and 1 tooth

3 3001 8 oyster shell fragments and 1 other shell

1 clay pipe stem and 1 stem attached to bowl fragment
1 FE nail
Various small pottery sherds

3 3002 Various pottery sherds, 1 green glaze handle, 1 clay bottle stopper
1 glass fragment
Various oyster shell fragments
3 fragments of terracotta pantile and 1 piece of brick
1 fragment pottery extrusion
1 clay pipe stem (cutty)
4 FE nails and 1 piece of barbed wire
1 piece white painted wood

3 3003 Various fragments of shell

2 FE nails, 1 steeple and 1 button
3 glass body sherds
2 fragments terracotta pantile
Various small pottery sherds
Various fragments charcoal
5 small bone fragments
Cousland Big Dig

Appendix 4 Artefact List Detecting

Artefact Record List – CBD08 - Cousland Castle Field and Southern Field
MD Number Description
MD001 Mills grenade fragment 1940's
MD002 Lead disc
MD003 Machine part
MD004 Lead object
MD005 Cut quarter coin 18th century
MD006 St. George token
MD007 Lead shot
MD008 Late 16th century shoe buckle
MD009 Georgian penny
MD010 Apostles spoon early 20th century
MD011 Lead disc
MD012 Georgian penny
MD013 Scottish turner 17th century
MD014 Horse buckle
MD015 No Find
MD016 No Find
MD017 No Find
MD018 No Find
MD019 No Find
MD020 No Find
MD021 Waistcoat button
MD022 Horse bridle bit
MD023 No Find
MD024 No Find
MD025 No Find
MD026 Horse terret bell
MD027 No Find
MD028 Iron door stud
MD029 No Find
MD030 No Find
MD031 No Find
MD032 No Find
MD033 No Find
MD034 No Find
MD035 No Find
MD036 No Find
MD037 No Find
MD038 No Find
MD039 No Find
MD040 No Find
MD041 Possible Cu weight
MD042 Lead object
MD043 Horse harness buckle
MD044 Cu horse shoe nail
MD045 Victorian buckle
MD046 Lead object
MD047 No Find
MD048 No Find
Cousland Big Dig

Artefact Record List – CBD08 - Cousland Castle Field and Southern Field
MD Number Description
MD049 No Find
MD050 Charles II turner 1677
MD051 Decorated fragment
MD052 James II gun money one shilling 1689
MD053 No Find
MD054 Decorated Cu object
MD055 Prob. Tractor part
MD056 Pierced lead weight
MD057 No Find
MD058 No Find
MD059 No Find
MD060 Waistcoat button
MD061 No Find
MD062 No Find
MD063 No Find
MD064 No Find
MD065 No Find
MD066 1940's military webbing buckle
MD067 No Find
MD068 No Find
MD069 No Find
MD070 No Find
MD071 No Find
MD072 No Find
MD073 No Find
MD074 No Find
MD075 1797 cartwheel penny
Big Cousland Dig - Community Archaeology Project
Big Cousland Dig - Community Archaeology Project
Big Cousland Dig - Community Archaeology Project
Big Cousland Dig - Community Archaeology Project
Cousland Big Dig

Appendix 5 Pottery Field – Ceramic record

Artefact Record List – CBD07 – Pottery Field

Type Date Total from Fieldwalking (see Figure 4)
Whiteware Century
Rims G “ 49

Bases G “ 47

Body G “ 334

Handles G “ 17

Others G “ 4

Rims B “ 43

Bases B “ 59

Body B “ 478

Handles B “ 5

Others B “ 4

Whiteware Century
Rims G “ 32

Bases G “ 40

Body G “ 155

Handles G “ 8

Others G “ 0

Rims B “ 23

Bases B “ 20

Body B “ 246

Handles B “ 4

Others B “ 4

Redware Century
Rims G “ 16

Bases G “ 15

Body G “ 146

Handles G “ 14

Others G “ 0

Rims B “ 11

Bases B “ 9

Body B “ 29

Handles B “ 1

Others B “ 0
Cousland Big Dig

Artefact Record List – CBD07 – Pottery Field

Type Date Total from Fieldwalking (see Figure 4)
Kiln Furniture 18 /19th
Saggers “ 106

Spacers HM “ 18

Extruded White “ 26

Extruded Red “ 18

L Shaped “ 9

Other Material 18th/19th

Kiln Flooring “ 77

Bricks Fireclay “ 47

Tiles Roof “ 337

Tiles Floor “ 13

Tiles Drainage “ 6
Cousland Big Dig



Ordnance Survey Map 1854 Haddingtonshire surveyed 1852

General Roy Military Map, surveyed 1750-55