Newbyres Castle – Recording the archaeology

Last Wednesday I organised the latest community workshop at Newbyres castle – a 16th century ruin in the heart of Gorebridge. The day was lead by Piers Dixon, an archaeologist from Historic Environment Scotland, who was ably helped by two colleagues – Eva Boyle and Adam Welfare. The day started with a tour of the castle and the land around. Piers speculated about what buildings might have surrounded the castle. By looking at the flat areas and man-made banks, some of which were only just discernible to the layman’s eye, we slowly built up a picture of what might have stood here once, including workshops, barns and kitchen gardens.  We then took a more detailed look at the ruins themselves …

Newbyres castle conservation

Despite the bitter cold over 20 volunteers and archaeologists turned up this week to spend a day clearing vegetation around the little-known ruin of Newbryres castle in Gorebridge town centre. Newbryres castle was ‘adopted’ by the Adopt-a-Monument Scheme run by Archaeology Scotland last Summer. Last week saw the first community volunteering day, led by myself on behalf of Gorebridge Community Development Trust  and Rebecca Barclay of Archaeology Scotland, to start conserving the remains of castle. The sun shone and we had a very enjoyable day, including a delicious home-made lunch served up by more volunteers in GCDT’s office down the road. Newbryres castle is 16th century L-plan, thee-storey tower house built by Michael Borthwick of Glengelt. He acquired the land …

Old dairy restoration

45 Main Street is a listed Georgian house in the heart of Gorebridge’s old town. It falls within a conservation area that is part of the Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS) funded by Historic Scotland and Midlothian Council to help in the restoration of buildings. No. 45 used to be the town’s dairy. Halvorsen Architects acted as architect for the restoration of the building, predominantly of the front facade. The works included replacing or repairing damaged sandstone, repointing with lime mortar and enhancing the roof. The renovation, now complete has included replacing the original, faded ‘DAIRY’ lettering around the porch, where warm unpasteurised milk, collected from cows in the milking shed attached to the back of the original building, was once poured from the mild churns into jugs of local residents.