Tinto Hill as viewed from Lamington. Note the pink rock in the main body of the hill (felsite) and the black rock (basalt) protruding from a later intrusion.

History and Archaeology – Myth or Fact

A talk given by Tam Ward at Quothquan near Thankerton, some years ago. History can be mystery and archaeology can be downright frustrating, often, literally, archaeology is rubbish! It’s all about trying to understand and learn about the past, neither...
St Mary's Church, Biggar

Survey of St Mary’s Churchyard, Biggar

This Biggar Archaeology Group report on Survey of St Mary's Churchyard is an update to previous inventories of the pre-1855 gravestone inscriptions in St Mary's Churchyard, Biggar, produced by John Smith in 1916 and Sheila Scott in 1972. This version...
Smithwood slip ware bowl – reconstructed

Early 18th century pottery from pre Lowland Clearance sites in Scotland

Several excavated sites in southern Scotland have produced assemblages of early 18th century red earthenware and other types of Staffordshire type slip ware pottery. The sites are known to have been abandoned before 1760 and furthermore much of the pottery is...
Reindeer migration

The Howburn Book

At last, and it has been worth the wait – we have the Howburn Book, a report principally by Torben Bjarke Ballin, a leading lithics expert and no stranger to Biggar Archaeology Group because he also did a report...
The wee war memorial

The two war memorials at Elsrickle, South Lanarkshire

The wee village of Elsrickle, in South Lanarkshire was recently made famous as being the village near the oldest known place of human activity in Scotland; Howburn Farm where people arrived from Denmark, by following reindeer over what is...

Six Castles and a Bastle in Upper Clydesdale

This report features a localised grouping of castle sites and a bastle house that are given as a guide to defensive sites dating from the 12th to the 17th centuries in Upper Clydesdale, South Lanarkshire. Map showing locations of sites...
Covington Tower Moat now filled in

Excavations and consolidation works at Covington Tower and Doocot, South Lanarkshire

Covington Tower and doocot represent the best sites of their types in the Upper reaches of the River Clyde in South Lanarkshire. The site is located at NS 975 400 and lies immediately on the west side of an...

Biggar Town – Urban Archaeological Project and brief history

Limited excavation was undertaken at Covington Tower and Doocot in 1982 in advance of proposed consolidation works on the site to make it safe as a visitor attraction. The restoration scheme as envisaged was never completed. A few archaeological details of the...
Illustration of Glenochar Battle House and Fermtoun

Glenochar Bastle House and Fermtoun

An account of the discovery, survey, consolidation, excavations and research of a 17th-century defensive farmhouse and buildings in Clydesdale, with supplementary contextual information. This Glenochar Bastle House and Fermtoun report replaces all previous works on the site, but much is...
Lithic examples from Wester Yardhouse

A mixed prehistoric lithic collection recovered from fields at Wester Yardhouse Farm

A mixed assemblage of pre-historic lithics including several tools was picked up from fields surrounding Wester Yardhouse Farm near Carnwath, circa NT 010 520, by the late Mr George Elder, farmer there, and perhaps also by his ploughman Mr...

Heritage Trails

Research projects

Bastle Houses and Sheep Buchts

Selection of microliths

Mesolithic Biggar

Daer reservoir showing peat where water is down

Reservoir Archaeology