Archaeological dig unearths Grangemouth’s past

Sixteenth-century pottery pieces, multi-sided thrupenny bits and a silver coin dating back to the reign of Queen Victoria were just a few of the finds uncovered at an archaeological dig in Grangemouth.

By Charlene Wilson
Thursday, 16th May 2019, 3:17 pm

The community event took place in Zetland Park on the south east corner of the site of the medieval monastic grange which gives the town its name.

Heritage engagement officer Geoff Bailey, who organised the seven-day dig said it had been a “great success” and had attracted many participants.

“The dig was intended to get the community involved in heritage and it did that. We also had one woman from Australia who had a conference in Glasgow and stayed on so that she could join the dig.”

Geoff added that the dig attracted a great deal of curiosity from dog walkers, school children, parents, tourists, cyclists and walkers.

He added: “We also had visits from Carrongrange School and Donaldson’s School in Linlithgow.

“Archaeologically the dig was also of interest. We got seven of the multi-sided thrupenny bits from the topsoil as well as a silver one from 1896 – Queen Victoria. The children of the town must have gone to the gala days full of expectation!

“A section was put through the enclosure bank of the medieval grange. Previous work had suggested that the bank was 14th century, but we found 16th century pottery below it. “However, we also found earlier features at the entrance indicating a more substantial gateway through a perimeter fence in the original arrangement. This was associated with food debris such as mussels, oysters and animal bones.

“Beside it there was a good cobbled road – but we think that it was a late replacement for the earlier roads and may only date to the 18th century.

“Inside the south-east corner of the enclosure we found an artificially raised clay platform of the 17th century – a coin and a lead button helping to date it. This was probably created to house a timber building.

“Now the turf is back in place in the park and in a few months’ time you’d hardly know we had been there, apart from some pottery, a few memories and a report.”