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.
After making some freehand sketches of the area we were able to check them by carrying out a measured survey of the site in the afternoon. We used traditional pieces of equipment that would have been used to make the first OS maps. There was something wonderfully therapeutic about slowly anddiligently recording the site and a pleasant relief when the three teams’ drawings were overlaid and pieced together perfectly.
The weather was kind to us and it was fascinating insight into the methods of archaeological recording.