Series: Alder Archaeology Ltd

Alder Archaeology
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Year of Publication (Start): 2009
Year of Publication (End): 2015
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T Barton
D Bowler
D Perry
Alder Archaeology Ltd was commissioned by Forestry Commission Scotland to carry out a desk-based assessment and walkover survey in Blairadam Forest, Fife. This work was carried out to enable the FCS to make informed and reasonable decisions on the future management of the cultural heritage within Blairadam Forest. The forest lies to the west of the M90 motorway, near Kelty, and measures roughly 12 square kilometres. Sites identified in the desk-based assessment were visited over several days between the 29th of August and the 28th of September 2009. The results of this survey found that many of the boundaries that once belonged to Blairadam estate can still be found hidden in the forest. The boundaries (comprising tree lined banks, ha-ha's and walls) belong to the designed landscape created by the Adam family over three generations between 1733 and 1834. It was possible in many areas to distinguish between three different phases of boundary alterations. The survey also found extensive mining remains along three different burns, some of which may date to the medieval period. The most extensive of these remains was an area of Bell Pits dating to the 18th century and possibly earlier. Later mining remains visited included a possible 19th century mine almost hidden along the Kelty burn, as well as remains of Blairenbathie Colliery and a later drift mine dating to the 1940s. The ruins of two farmsteads were found on the periphery of the forest close to the large opencast mine, as well as a possible Second World War watch tower. Other sites of interest included several reservoirs, waterworks and dams, two cottage ruins, and a great many quarries. As part of the study a suite of GIS shapefiles and a database were created to help with future mitigation. The site code for the project was KU01.
2009
T Barton
D Perry
Alder Archaeology Ltd was commissioned by Tulloch NET and PKHT to carry out an archaeological walkover survey and basic desk-based assessment of the Perth's historic lade to give an overview of its cultural heritage. The city lade runs for some 4.5 miles from a weir known as Low's Work on the River Almond by Huntingtower, through Tulloch estate and onwards to Perth city centre where it exits into the River Tay by the Old Tay Bridge. The entire non-culverted length of the lade was surveyed over four days between the 10th and 24th of May 2011. The recent winter flooding had caused damage to the weir at the intake on the River Almond and this meant that upper portions of the lade were dry during the survey. As well as recording the general conditions and alterations to the mills along the lade, the survey identified several new features including earthworks near Ruthvenfield and various clay pits of unknown date below Perth crematorium.
2011
D P Bowler
Building Record, 20th-century Billiard Hall attached to former Carnegie Museum and Library, Kinross.
2013
D Bowler
Balhousie Castle was built as an L-plan tower house in 1631 for the Hay family, and extensively enlarged in the baronial style about 1863. For many years it has been the Headquarters and Regimental Museum of the 42nd (Royal Highland) Regiment, The Black Watch, latterly The Black Watch Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland. Plans to extend and enhance the museum involve the demolition of a late 19th-century annexe, also in the baronial style, latterly used as staff accommodation and storage. A photographic record survey was required in advance of demolition. This showed many design details, and how the annexe was made to harmonise in style with the castle. Original fabric is preserved in various parts of the castle, including examples of hand-made muff window glass. A watching brief will follow, on below-ground excavations, and demolitions impinging on historic fabric.
2012
D P Bowler
Alder Archaeology Ltd recorded a former church hall near Stirling Castle in advance of emergency stabilisation by Stirling Council. The work was done on 22nd December 2011, and given the site code ST23. The building dates from 1883. It is modest in scale, but of surprisingly high quality, in design, materials and craftsmanship. The roof is obviously in a poor state, but the shell is generally sound, more so than might have been expected. The present record will be of assistance in guiding future repairs. If earlier photographs or drawings survive, showing the building before its conversion to a workshop, this may also help to inform restoration.
2012
T Barton
James Denholm Partnership on behalf of their client, Helen Dunkley, commissioned Alder Archaeology to undertake a standing building recording on a dilapidated group of buildings known locally as the Old Manse Stables at Monzie, Perth and Kinross. The work (site code MN01) was carried out on the 26th of April 2012 during good weather. The buildings were covered in dense ivy growth and their roofs had either collapsed or were in the process of falling down, both of which limited what could be recorded during the survey. Five main phases of construction were identified reflecting the changing needs of agricultural buildings associated with the Manse between the late 18th and late 19th centuries. The functions of the various rooms included barns, cart sheds, stores, hay lofts and stables, however, there was no conclusive evidence for cattle byres or that the buildings had ever been occupied by people. The windows and doors of the main range were improved in the 19th century to create an aesthetic finish to the facades. It seems likely that these alterations correspond to the re-building of the church and possibly the Manse in the 1830s by William Stirling. The last major alteration was the construction of a new stable for large horses and the conversion of one of the old rooms to house ponies; in both the interiors were fitted out with high quality carpentry.
2012
D Bowler
G Brown
The Lodge, Blackcraig was built in ca 1856 by the Arbroath born artist and architect Patrick Allan-Fraser. The Lodge, though not nearly as ornate as Blackcraig Castle itself or the mock-fortified medieval inspired bridge over the Ardle, is nonetheless a good example of the domestic end of the Scots Baronial style with some nicely executed features on the gabled porch and the canted bay window. The presence of a bay window in itself is worthy of mention in a building of this nature as this style, first introduced by the Victorian's, did not become common till after about 1870. Sadly many of the mouldings and other detail, all constructed in soft red sandstone, have suffered badly from weathering over the years. A photographic survey was carried out in advance of construction of a new extension at the rear of the site extending over the current parking bay and grassed area to the south west of the back door.
2013
G Brown
An archaeological building recording exercise was carried out by Alder Archaeology in advance of the development of a site at Pittiely Burn near Aberfeldy. The proposed development plan for the site called for the demolition of two ruinous drystone structures in the SE of the site to make way for a new dwelling house. A photographic survey was carried out to record the historic character of these structures and to provide a basic record prior to their demolition. This work was carried out on the 22nd August 2013. The other remains on the site, including all the other farmstead buildings, the lime kilns and the cup marked stone, are to be preserved during the development and to this end a protective fence has been placed around them. The line of this fence was designed by Alder Archaeology (with input from the developer) and approved by PKHT.
2013
R Cachart
D Perry
Fountain Forestry commissioned Alder Archaeology Ltd to undertake an archaeological desk-based assessment and a walkover survey on the site of a proposed new access road at Balquhandy Forest, Dunning, Perth and Kinross. The study area was part of a new forestry access route from the B934 road into Balquhandy Forest which passes on the N side the Scheduled Ancient Monument of Blaeberry Hill deserted farmstead. The walkover took place 25th March 2011 and covered the line of the proposed access road from NO 0246 1042 to NO 03275 10859 and NO 03495 10849. Significant finds were walls and enclosures connected to the Blaeberry Hill deserted farmstead. Further work was recommended on enclosures and walls on the route of the new access road. The Alder Archaeology site code for the project was DG05.
2011
D Bowler
D Perry
Desk-based assessment and walkover survey of proposed mini-hydro scheme in Glen Artney, Comrie, Perth and Kinross
2013
R Cachart
Stirling Council commissioned Alder Archaeology to undertake an archaeological evaluation on the site for the erection of six new residential housing units at Birch Road, Killearn. The site, centred on NS 52260 85907, lies just south of the Killearn Old Parish Church and Graveyard. Three evaluation trenches were excavated to evaluate 100m² of the available area. It was considered possible that the development site may have contained buried remains associated with settlement or outlying burials associated with the nearby Killearn Old Parish Church. Topsoil and subsoil revealed nothing of archaeological significance in any to the trenches and no finds were recovered. A few residual 19th - 20th C pottery sherds were found in the topsoil indicating some sort of activity, possibly horticulture on the site during those periods. A patch of black mineral (0305) over the subsoil in trench 03 was considered to be a natural occurrence and not archaeological. The natural rock, although having a relatively flat surface showed no signs of having been cut or terraced for construction. Bedrock was quite close to the surface in all the trenches which may have rendered the site poor for horticulture. The slope of the land here may have also deterred any building in the past. No further archaeological work is required on the site.
2012
R Cachart
Alder Archaeology undertook an archaeological evaluation on the site of a proposed new house and associated drainage centred on NGR NO 2502 2524, on the southern side of East Inchmichael Farm, Errol Perth and Kinross. Special attention was to be paid to any features or deposits relating to settlement of the later prehistoric period and the Pictish period that had been identified from aerial photography directly to the W of the farm (Scheduled Monument 7199). Two trenches each measuring 11 x 2m were excavated. The evaluation trenches revealed relatively deep estuarine deposits with land drainage dating from the medieval period to the present day. Two sherds of medieval pottery and modern bovine remains were recovered. Nothing relating to the buried features of the Scheduled Monument to the W of East Inchmichael Farm were identified.
2010
D Bowler
G Brown
Alder Archaeology Ltd was commissioned by Deveron Glenisla LLP to carry out an archaeological evaluation in advance of phase 1 of a development at Glenisla Golf Course. This work was carried out in response to a condition attached to the planning permission, near Pitcrocknie Standing Stone. A total of ten trenches were excavated over the development area to provide a 5% sample of the site. A very heavily truncated Early Bronze Age feature was uncovered in one of the trenches. This has been interpreted as the fragmentary remains of a single urned cremation.
2013
R Cachart
Alder Archaeology was commissioned by Morgan Homes Scotland Ltd to undertake an archaeological evaluation (site code RT03) on land to the west of the Smithy, Rait, in advance of development. Rait has been the location of a church and settlement since the early medieval period (for over 1000 years). The site was considered to be potentially archaeologically significant as it lies within the core of the historic settlement, approximately 100m to the W of church ruins. The work was undertaken 19th July 2012 in good weather conditions. Two trenches were excavated and recorded. Finds of note included residual medieval pottery, post medieval pottery, modern pottery and early modern wine bottle fragments. A ditch or trench feature was found in trench 01 which was considered to be either a roadside drainage ditch or a horticultural feature. A ditch feature was also located in trench 02 which was considered to be for drainage or horticulture. These features were considered to be early modern or modern. No deposits or features relating to the medieval period were positively identified.
2012
T Barton
Dundee City Council commissioned Alder Archaeology Ltd to undertake an archaeological evaluation on the site of a proposed new leisure pool, multi-storey car park and ground-level car park at East Marketgait/East Whale Lane, Dundee. The proposed development area was located to the east of the southern end of East Marketgait centred on NGR NO 40734 30625. The work (site code DD54) was undertaken on the 19th and 20th of April 2010 in good weather conditions. The requirement was to evaluate 2% of the archaeologically sensitive area, which worked out at 4 trenches, each measuring 10m by 2m. The evaluation revealed that deposits on the site comprise 18th and 19th century made up ground dumped to reclaim land from the sea. At the northern end of the site one of these deposits contained re-deposited medieval pottery, suggesting that nearby Medieval remains were disturbed during this process of land reclamation. Trench 01 uncovered a cobbled yard surface, probably part of Stewart's Court, which seems to date to the first part of the 19th century. A square stone with a central slot found set into the cobbles may have been for a post connected to a stall for stabling horses. Trench 02 revealed two walls relating to the 19th century warehouses that used to cover the site prior to redevelopments in the early 1990s. The most significant find during the evaluation was the discovery of the redundant 1793 Sea Wall which was found in Trench 04. This wall, which measured over a metre in width at the top, survived to a height of 1.8m and was composed of large squared blocks of roughly mortared whinstone. The construction trench of this wall had truncated an earlier 18th century building which may have originally been built right up against the shoreline.
2010
R Cachart
Alder Archaeology was commissioned by Mr Fred Edgley to undertake an archaeological evaluation, in advance of development at Mains of Carpow, Newburgh. The steading of Mains of Carpow (centred on NGR NO 2090 1775) is surrounded by a Scheduled Ancient Monument relating to the Roman legionary fortress of Carpow, but the steading is itself not scheduled. The work (Alder site code CW02) took place in two phases, 14-15th March 2011 and 28-29th April 2011. Eight percent of the area of 4,600m² was evaluated with 9 trenches varying in length from 16m to 34m. An extra area measuring 6 X 10.5m (Trench 10) was evaluated to further assess what mitigation measures may be required for the new build. Significant finds were major ditch features and a possible beam slot, all of which are believed to relate to the Roman occupation.
2011
R Cachart
Alder Archaeology Ltd carried out an archaeological evaluation (site code PL06) at Mill Glen, Baledmund Road, Moulin, on sloping garden ground centred on NN 94420 59340 in advance of residential development. The area was considered to have potential archaeological significance as it was situated in closed proximity to the village of Moulin thought to date from the Pictish Period. Four evaluation trenches, each measuring 20 X 2m were opened up over the 2500m² site, that is 6.4% of the available area. The trenches revealed fluvial-glacial deposits comprising gravels with a high content of medium-large stone, underlying, in places, a deep subsoil. The only archaeological features encountered were of modern date.
2010
R Cachart
The development area was located on the southern edge of a motte and bailey site know as Castle of Rattray Four evaluation trenches were excavated each measuring 2 X 15m and representing 6% of the available development area. The evaluation showed that the site contained a deep build up of homogeneous topsoil or colluvium as a result of hillwash off the motte and bailey feature. The topsoil deposit revealed little evidence of any stratification and bottomed onto fine orange natural sands and gravels. Two of the trenches crossed a large ditch feature extending approximately NE-SW across the site. The ditch contained a fill of homogenous silty loam virtually identical to the topsoil and in each trench a narrow slot feature bottoming into natural sand seemed to be associated with the southern edge of the ditch. In one trench where the ditch appeared, some fragments of slag (possibly metal working) were recovered from the lower part of the topsoil and in the same trench one fragment of slag was recovered from the bottom of the ditch fill. The slag could indicate that metalworking had been taking place nearby. No significant archaeological features appeared in the other two evaluation trenches and apart from the fragments of slag there were no significant datable finds. Mitigation in the form of a watching brief on development works was recommended.
2013
Ray Cachart
Alder Archaeology Ltd was commissioned to undertake an evaluation on the site of a proposed new bridge on the A822 over the River Braan at Amulree, Perth and Kinross. The site of the new development is just E of the historic Amulree bridge and is centred on NGR NN 9010 3679. The development site was considered to be of archaeological interest as it encompasses the site of an historic ford over the River Braan, and it was also considered possible that the lost site of St Mary's Chapel, located somewhere on the N side of the river could be within the development area. The evaluation (Alder site code AJ01) was carried out during the period 2-3 December 2009. Evaluation trenches on the N side of the river revealed that a ramp of redeposited natural sandy gravel leading from the A822 down to the river was probably 19th Century and trenches on the S side of the river revealed only natural deposits of silt, gravel and a compact stony layer. Nothing that could be related to the historic ford or the site of St Mary's Chapel was found
2009
R Cachart
Alder Archaeology Ltd undertook an archaeological evaluation on fields adjacent to Ruthven House, Ruthvenfield, Perth, for the proposed development of 12 houses, services and new road. The proposed development area was open ground, 5.8 acres in area, centred on NGR NO 0817 2551. The work (site code PE54) was undertaken during the period 17-20th September 2012 in variable weather conditions. The requirement was to evaluate 5% of the available area, that is 10,406 sq m requiring 26 trenches, each 20m in length and 2m wide. The evaluation revealed that the underlying geology is riverine, comprising undulating gravel beds with silted channels overlying clay. The evaluation revealed no archaeological evidence to support the theory that part of the Roman road running between Bertha and Strageith passes through the site. Archaeological evidence uncovered was limited to 18th and 19th cobble, rubble and red ceramic field drains, pits with rubble, a trench with ash and clay and some made up ground. A small bore modern iron water pipe was also located. Most of this archaeology was in the S part of the site. There were four features the functions of which were somewhat uncertain. These were: the cut and fill in trench 09 which was considered modern because of small pottery sherds found in the fill; the linear feature in trench 14, which contained modern glass; the linear feature in trench 18 which had the appearance of a field drain but contained no dating evidence, and the small ovoid feature in trench 20 which was considered natural. Alder Archaeology considers that no further archaeological work is required on the site.
2012
 
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