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Public can help experts at park's archaeological dig

By Kyle Ritchie

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An archaeological dig is set to take place at Aden Country Park’s Medieval Tower House Site.

As part of the ongoing Aden Restoration and Redevelopment Parks for People Project, the dig is taking place from Saturday, August 31 to Sunday, September 8.

The public is invited to attend the associated open day on Saturday, September 7 from 10am to 4pm, when there will be an opportunity to take part in the dig.

A brooch which was found on the last dig at the Tower House site.
A brooch which was found on the last dig at the Tower House site.

This will be the third dig at the tower house site. Following an initial dig and excavation report in 2015 a T-shaped structure was found in the woods beside Hareshowe Farm which was identified as the “Episcopalian meeting place.”

The episcopal meetings were secret outdoor events held in the woods prior to their church burning down in the late 18th century.

The foundations of the site are however, believed to be older possibly dating back to the 15th century.

It is anticipated that this dig will reveal more details of the site.

Archaeologist, Ali Cameron, who has been commissioned by Aberdeenshire Council to led on archaeology aspects of the project said: “When we first discovered this late medieval tower house in 2016 we were absolutely delighted.

“The T-shaped stone structure had been dismissed as a 19th-century farmstead even though it did not appear on the Ordnance Survey maps.

“The reason it is not on the maps is that it was constructed in the 1400s and abandoned in the 1700s.

“This year we’re further investigating the interior of the building but also digging test pits around the woods to see if there is more evidence from that period.

“We are also investigating other possible medieval features in the park.

“Come along and dig or visit us and see what we have found.”

The open day is free for the public to attend and it is hoped that it will encourage people of all ages to find out more about their local heritage and the history of Aden Country Park.

Neil Shirran, Aden Project co-ordinator, said: “The archaeology fieldwork, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) and Historic Environment Scotland (HES), are proving to be a real hit with visitors and schools alike.

“It’s great to see so many people taking part in the archaeological digs in Aden and the open day will provide people with another opportunity to engage with the archaeological heritage of the much-loved country park.”

The Tower House site dig is the final Aden dig of 2019 so anyone interested in taking part is encouraged to go along for this unique opportunity.

Previous digs in 2019 at the Neolithic site and Mansion House have uncovered lots of exciting pieces of history including: a drain, coins, pottery and features.

For more information about the archaeological dig or open day contact the Aden skills development and events officer at justinetough96@gmail.com

Or visit the Archaeology at Aden Country Park Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ArchaeologyatAden/

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