Well… the last element of the original Cousland BIG DIG, has been completed! The Windmill has been cleared and evaluated – and what a day… starting with the find of the day! A baby owl! Nicely rescued and moved to a safer place.
It was actually quite satisfying to chop down trees, cut nettles and clean up the place. What started off as a few stones covered in ivy, became a massive windmill! The vaulted chamber was 4.2 metres wide, 7.80m long and would have had an 8m wide circular windmill on top.
As Iain Fraser from the RCAHMS
“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.”
Whats missing? A landmark!
Our digging in the vault chamber showed that we would need to clear out about 1 metre of soil, to get its full height. The rain came down in buckets… but we did not stop… CBDers stop for nothing!
Thanks everyone again……
WEll it was time to fill in trenches 1 and 3 in some severe weather… but at least I have found that my body is stil up to the task of shoveling spoil and returfing!
We opened up the castle trench, and have uncovered a rubble layer that stops sharply along a line. This could represent collapse inside the castle prior to the wall being robbed.. At least we know we should find a castle. See the picture below!
Wednesday is a day of rest! and the Historian will come in to explain the history behind the place.
Our Historian Louise Yeoman has been working tirelessly, and on Wednesday will be presenting findings to the group, as well as showing them how to study documentary evidence. One amazing fact that she has pointed us to is that Mary Queen of Scots mounted her horse near to Carberry Hill East Lothian. in 1547 after the non-battle of Carberry and surrendered to the Confederate Lords (of which Lord Ruthven was a major player – even involved in the murder of Rizzio) where she was taken and held at near by Cousland Castle over night where they decided her fate.
With this evidence, we now know the castle was still standing, and that the larger structure that we are now examining was standing at this time, and with luck, we should have the lower rooms mapped out for the open day on Saturday.. this will allow us to point to the place where this event in Scottish (and UK) history actually took place.. tell you what! I love Community Archaeology!
The kids from teh village and all teh others are working hard, and the day was pleasant, made better when the first evidence of the collapsed castle wall started to appear!
Lets hope that day 4 (april the 1st) does not make a fool of us!
better than Stonehenge!
Well, I give up my council job today.. back to normal… Its not so much going to another job, its just getting rid of one of four!
This means I can concentrate on BAJR, Past Horizons, CHC consultants. Start the Cousland Big Dig tommorrow at 10am…
It is however pouring with rain! oh the joy of digging in Scotland!
will keep you updated day by day!