Old Pentland Churchyard, Midlothian

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

Transcript of Old Pentland Churchyard, Midlothian

Old Pentland ChurchyardSeptember 2009

Carried out on behalf of Damhead Community Council byCONNOLLY HERITAGE CONSULTANCY AND

EDINBURGH ARCHAEOLOGICAL FIELD SOCIETY

TRAPRAIN LUGGATE WHITTINGEHAME EAST EH41 4QA

HOUSE BURN

LOTHIAN

T : 01620 861643

E : INFO@BAJR.ORG

Table of Contents

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SUMMARY

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INTRODUCTION

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OBJECTIVES

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METHODOLOGY

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5.05.1 5.2 5.3

RESULTSFieldwork The Trenches Artefacts

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CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

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ILLUSTRATIONS

Figure 1: Location plan. Figure 2: Site Plan with trench locations. Figure 3: Geophysics Results. Figure 4: Trench Plans Figure 5: Interpretation of excavation and Geophysical plot, with reconstruction. Appendix 1: Context List Appendix 2: Photo List Appendix 3: Artefact List Appendix 4: Trench List References

Old Pentland Churchyard, Midlothian

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Figure 1:

Location Plan

Old Pentland Churchyard, Midlothian

February 2009 Geophysics

Trench 2 Trench 1

GIBSONE MAUSOLEUM

September 2009 Geophysics

WATCH HOUSE

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Figure 2:

Site Plan

Old Pentland Church, Damhead, Midlothian

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SUMMARY An archaeological investigation consisting of geophysics and a two small evaluation trenches was undertaken at the request of the Pentland Conservation Group and with the kind permission of the Gibsone Trust, at Old Pentland Churchyard, Damhead, Midlothian. The site is located within the graveyard set back from the road that passes through Damhead The work consisted of two days of Geophysics and follow-up excavation over the area of a strong signal that seemed to represent a wall or foundations. The purpose was to locate any trace of the church which would once have stood in the graveyard but has since been demolished at some point in the late 18th or early 19th century. The work was purely exploratory and would provide information for any further investigations. Special care was taken to ensure that human remains would not be disturbed. The work was undertaken on the 8th August and 12th September, and was restricted to non intrusive geophysical survey across the graveyard and two targeted test trenches directly over features that were interpreted as solid stone features. Special care was taken to avoid known graves and also to keep within the areas of probable walling / foundations to ensure the potential that human remains were disturbed was at a minimum. The work enabled the further interpretation of the site, and will allow any future work to confidently excavate the church footprint with a clear plan of the structure and the type and depth of deposits found. Excavation was restricted to examining the upper levels of archaeological deposits, and once uncovered and identified, no further intrusive work was carried out. Further work suggested is that the geophysical feature showing to the south of the now identified church structure is investigated with a single test trench. Extending the evaluation trench across the known church to confirm the width and the exact shape of the apse, and to investigate traces of floor level (perhaps as a mortar line on the internal wall-face) without excavating beyond this level. Due to the nature of the area it is imperative that no burials are disturbed therefore care must be taken to follow walllines where there is no possibility of burial.

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

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Old Pentland Churchyard, Midlothian

February 2009 Resistivity plot

Document: Old_Pentland_2View2 Grid Width: 80 (20m) Grid Height: 160 (40m) Orig Sample Size: 1.00 x 1.00m New Sample Size: 0.25 x 0.25m Resistivity Plot by the Edinburgh Archaeological Field Society Structure investigated by trenching Possible secondary structure

September 2009 Resistivity plot0 20m

Figure 3:

Geophysics Results

Old Pentland Church, Damhead, Midlothian

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Site History Old Pentland Cemetery is a cemetery in Old Pentland, near Loanhead in Midlothian, Scotland. A category B listed building, the cemetery dates back to the early 17th century. The cemetery contains the remains of members of the Covenanter movement and may also have been scene to tending of wounded covenanters after the Battle of Rullion Green in 1666. The Gibsone burial vault was built in 1839 to designs by the architect Thomas Hamilton, and there is an 18th-century watch house, used to guard against body snatchers. Within this structure are, (if you look through the window) two stones believed to be from the 13th /14th century. Originally discovered by Thomas Arnold buried underneath the turf in 1856 they were later rediscovered recycled as cope stones in the perimeter wall to the left of the watch house. One other stone has been removed to Rosslyn Chapel for safe keeping and can be seen in the vault there The King of Terrors The burial ground surrounds the site of Pentland parish church, which was established in the 13th century, and this burial ground was still in use in 1907, although the parish had been joined with Lasswade in the 17th century. Pentland chapel is noted as a free parsonage in Bagimond; it was erected into a parish church before 1275, and the parish was united with Lasswade in 1647. The following extract is from Fasti ecclesiae Scoticanae:[In 1583 the Synod of Lothian remitted to the General Assembly that means be taken for establishing a minister here. The parish was united to Lasswade in 1647, there not being sufficient competence for a minister.] 1570 JOHN BROWN, reader.-[Reg. of Min.] 1574 WILLIAM BARBOUR, having also in charge Penicuik and Mount-Lothian. He removed to Penicuik in 1576. He held the prebend of Lochstarik, named Bwitsextus; vacant by his death before 25th May 1584.-[Req. Assig., Wodrow Miscell.] 1576 JOHN BROWN, reader. 1586 JOHN BARBOUR, probably brother of William B. above mentioned; reader at Mount-Lothian 1576-80; then here 1586. He was pres. to the vicarage of Temple 2nd Jan. 1577, and to Newton; coll. 8th Aug. 1587. Being" convict of riot in the kirk, and sclander," two of the brethren were, 22nd Aug, 1616, "appointit to see his desk removit, by the authority of Gilbert Hay of Monktoun, bailie of the bounds," who on 29th "reportit, that they had acquaintit the aforesaid, quha promisit that in all tyme coming they sould be cummerless " [of John Barbour].-[Reg. Assig., Wodrow Miscell.; New Stat. Acc,, i.]

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Old Pentland Churchyard, Midlothian

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Figure 4: Trench Plans

Old Pentland Church, Damhead, Midlothian

The Covenanters

Helen Alexander was born in sight of Old Pentland Graveyard in the mid17th century into a Covenanting family. She grew up into what historians describe as the Killing Times the period following the re-establishment of Episcopacy by Charles 11, when Covenanters who refused to attend Episcopalian parish churches were ruthlessly punished. After the death of her first husband Helen was married to James Currie, by James Renwick, who was the last martyr to the the Cause. He was executed for his Covenanting beliefs at the age of 26 , Helens life was spent in the dangerous struggle to achieve freedom of worship. She was imprisoned by Sir Alexander Gibsone but he may have privately shared her convictions and secured her freedom despite her intransigence which would have cost her her life. The Conventicles were guarded by armed men led by Richard Cameron, They became known as the Cameronians, a regiment of the British Army for three cent.. They were the only regiment of the British army who attended church parade bearing arms, a tradition dating back to when they guarded the Covenanters worshiping at Conventicles. These were clandestine religious services held in secret locations often on remote hillsides and perhaps even in this graveyard. The Battle of Rullion Green took place on the 28th November 1666 between around 900 Covenanters under the command of Colonel James Wallace and 3000 Royal Troops under Lieutenant General Tam Dalziel of the Binns. Pursued by Dalziel, the Covenanters marched via Swanston and the line of the Biggar Road to Rullion Green beyond Flotterson. Confused ,untrained and exhausted, the Covenanters were defeated on the field and fled in panic. Most of the Covenanting army were killed. There is a monument to the dead on the site of the battle but it is believed that many were buried in Old Pentland graveyard though it is more likely this relates to the graves of and the association with Helen Currie (though her headstone now resides in the Huntly House Museum in Edinburgh A study of maps of the area, including William Roy (1755), John Laurie (1763) and the 1850-52 ORDNANCE SURVEY - Six-inch 1st edition maps of Scotland though none of these show a church clearly at this location, and the 1852 OS 1st Edition shows that the church is no longer present by this time. Only Adairs map of 1680 shows a church at this site marked Pentland.

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Old Pentland Church, Damhead, Midlothian

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