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Selkirk Castle Community Archaeology Project

FUNDERS & PARTNERS: Heritage Lottery Fund, Scottish Historic Buildings Preservation Trust, The Haining Charitable Trust, Northlight Heritage
LOCATION: Selkirk, Borders


We were invited by Scottish Historic Buildings Preservation Trust to advise on the scope of an archaeological survey and excavation project, working with local volunteers to record the scheduled medieval motte-and-bailey castle at The Haining in its early modern designed landscape setting and assess its conservation needs and opportunities for interpretation.  Our project outline was the basis of a successful application for HLF funding. 

Desk-based research into the site's history, laser scanning to create a highly detailed 3D model and trial excavation have been carried out so far, with volunteers receiving training in desk-based and online research, walkover survey and excavation.  We adopted an integrated approach to site survey, with archaeologists and ecologists working together and with volunteers to record aspects of cultural and natural heritage.  This will help balance conservation needs in management decisions and increase opportunities for more holistic forms of landscape interpretation.  The work has highlighted the lively history of Selkirk Castle as a key defensive site in the Wars of Independence and the impacts of the designed landscape and wartime use on the archaeology. 

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