Selkirk Castle dig proves hard, but ultimately rewarding work

Cameron Cowens and Demi Clifford of Knowepark Nursery with Ruth Whyte and group leader (with hat on) Charlotte Francoz of Northlight Heritage in Glasgow on an archeological dig at the site where Selkirk Castle used to stand.
Cameron Cowens and Demi Clifford of Knowepark Nursery with Ruth Whyte and group leader (with hat on) Charlotte Francoz of Northlight Heritage in Glasgow on an archeological dig at the site where Selkirk Castle used to stand.

Archaeologists and volunteers finished excavating Selkirk Castle in The Haining estate’s woodland this week.

Project director Charlotte Francoz of Northlight Heritage told us: “We’ve found evidence of activity, if not structure.”

Lisa, Lexi, Joshua and Caitlin from Knowepark nursery at the site of the old Selkirk Castle.

Lisa, Lexi, Joshua and Caitlin from Knowepark nursery at the site of the old Selkirk Castle.

Thick clay deposits atop the mott suggest its watchtower was made of wood, and rotted over centuries of rain, which washed any artifacts down the slope, where strategic trenches unearthed a medieval spindle whorl and green-glazed pottery shard within, respectively, David I’s bailey and Edward I’s extended ramparts.

“We had to limit the number of volunteers, because there was so much interest from the community,” Ms Francoz said. Selkirk volunteer Jim Stillie said he’d enjoyed learning about archaeology, but not so much the heavy digging to shift tonnes of soil. “We haven’t got a digger, we’ve only got mattocks and shovels,” he said, “it makes you appreciate Time Team.”

Selkirk Castle dig.

Selkirk Castle dig.

L-r, Richard Wales, Stan Scott and Ian Bradshaw who are volunteers on the archelogical dig at the site of Selkirk Castle.

L-r, Richard Wales, Stan Scott and Ian Bradshaw who are volunteers on the archelogical dig at the site of Selkirk Castle.