Last of the Westland Whigs

In the late 17th century, the 'Westland Whigs' were the radical descendants of earlier Covenanters who had defied the absolutist rule of Stuart kings in south west Scotland.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Trusty's Hill fort 'E' ware

Piece of 'E' ware pottery found at the Galloway Picts Project  dig at Trusty's Hill fort, Gatehouse of Fleet, Dumfries and Galloway.Although not as rare as the African Red Slipware found earlier, it is still an indicator that Trusty's Hill was -like Whithorn and the Mote of Mark -connected into trade routes with Gaul (France) and the Mediterranean.

Here are some more photos of the dig taken by my son Alistair junior, 30 May 2012.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Early Irish Settlements in Galloway

Charles Thomas' 1967 map of early Irish Settlement in Galloway

Visting the Galloway Picts Project dig at Trusty's Hill, Gatehouse of Fleet last Friday, I asked Ronan Toolis (archaeologist in charge) if there might have been a connection between the site and Ardwall Island, which is visible from Trusty's Hill. Ronan was doubtful since he though the chapel on Ardwall Island was Anglian/ Northumbrian and so later than the period of occupation at Trusty's Hill.

Both sites were excavated by Charles Thomas (Trusty's Hill in 1960, Ardwall in 1964/5) and I was sure that Thomas had dated Phases I of the Ardwall chapel to the fifth century. I checked with Thomas' report on the Ardwall site in the Transactions of the Dumfriesshire and Galloway Natural History and Antiquarian Society (3rd Series, Vol. 43) and found that he had suggested sixth century date for Phase I (but possibly fifth)...

I then read through a more detailed report Thomas had written for Medieval Archaeology Vol XI (1967) on the Ardwall site. This confirmed that Phases I and II were sixth and seventh century. The report also contained the above map showing possible  early Irish settlements in Galloway and Dumfries. These settlements could have introduced Gaelic into Galloway before the Gall-ghaidheil.

Thomas also included an illustration of a possibly Pictish (Type 2) style carving found on Ardwall Island.All very interesting...

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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Galloway Picts project-important find

Piece of African Red Slipware -made in 6th century in north Africa, found at Trusty's Hill
Need to do a bit of research on African red Slipware- then will update this post.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Galloway Picts Project 21 May

Alistair junior has started working on the Galloway Picts project at Trusty's Hill, Gatehouse of Fleet.

Here are some of the photos he took today.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Galloway Picts Project

For more see this website Galloway Picts Alistair junior has gone today.

This text from website.

Ancient chronicles talk about the Picts of Galloway, a wild fierce people from the Dark Ages. While historians nowadays seem convinced that there were never Picts in Galloway, there is one place in south-west Scotland where apparently incontrovertible evidence for Picts survives.

Trusty’s Hill is a vitrified fort, conspicuous amongst the many ancient hillforts of Galloway for its Pictish Symbol Stone. The Pictish Symbols at Trusty’s Hill probably date to a period in the first millennium AD when south-west Scotland was inhabited by people usually perceived to be Britons, not Picts.

So what is this Pictish Symbol Stone doing in Galloway?

This is what the Dumfriesshire and Galloway Natural History and Antiquarian Society would like to know. This is what the Galloway Picts Project aims to find out.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Osprey watch 17 May 2012

Male osprey at nest 17 May 2012

Alistair junior too this photo  Thursday 17 May 2012 at the Threave, Castle Douglas osprey nest. Alistair discussed the ospreys with Karl Munday of NTS Threave. Karl  thinks that so long as the weather improves from now on, the pair of ospreys will have a chance of raising some chicks this year.

However, ospreys have already hatched chicks in the Scottish Borders and Scottish Highlands, in Wales and in England. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Three ospreys at Threave, Castle Douglas 14 May

Three ospreys- one female on nest, male and other female in flight.
Monday 14 May 2012 Alistair junior took this photo of three opsreys at the Threave, Castle Douglas nest site. One female was on the nest, the other female and the male were flying around. This is very exciting, since until last week end, there was only the male at the nest.

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