Discovering Dumfries and Galloway’s Past is carrying out a number of geophysical surveys across the region. It’s a great way of seeing beneath the soil, to explore buried archaeological remains without excavating them.

You may have seen archaeologists carrying out ‘geofizz’ on TV’s Time Team – but now is your chance to learn how to carry out surveys yourself, and interpret the results.

The development phase of the project is coming to an end, so currently we have no more events planned. However, please contact us if you would like to be added to our mailing list for an update about events happening in your area.

Previous events

To date the project has held a wide range of events, including volunteer surveys, Open Days, evening talks and workshops. These have been spread right across the region. You can read more about the results of the surveys here. Listed below, for information, is a calendar of events to date:

7th September: Castledykes Park, Dumfries
A drop-in and join-in event surveying the Royal Castle of Dumfries. Visitors found out more about the project and got hands-on with resistivity survey. There was also the opportunity to meet a Medieval Knight.

Read more about the background to the Castledykes survey.

Read more about the day and see some results here.

11th-13th September: Innermessan, Stranraer
Volunteers carried out extensive magnetic and resistance survey at the foot of the 12th century motte of the former castle at Innermessan.

Read more about the background to the Innermessan survey.

An Open Day was held in Stranraer Library and up on site on Saturday 15th September.

18th and 22ndSeptember: Corehead, near Moffat
A team of local volunteers carried out resistivity survey at Corehead Farm. ‘Ye Coreheade’ a towerhouse depicted on a 16th century map, and for which there are numerous literary references, however, doesn’t seem to have been located yet – so the search goes on!

Read more about the possible tower site.

The results were presented in a public talk in Moffat, together with members of the volunteer team, on Tuesday 25th September.

24th to 27th September: Lochbrow, near Johnstonebridge
Local volunteers, pupils from Johnstonebridge Primary School and Dumfries High and their teachers joined the Lochbrow Landscape Project Team, from the Universities of York and Edinburgh, and RCAHMS to investigate the prehistoric landscape around Lochbrow Farm, spotted as an extensive array of crop markings seen on aerial photographs.

Detailed resistance survey was carried out, and the results were discussed on Wednesday 26th September  in a talk in Lockerbie Town Hall.

3rd October: Gatehouse of Fleet
A large team of volunteers carried out both magnetic and resistance survey on a site to the north of Gatehouse. Study of aerial photographs of a flat field to the west of Girthon Cemetery has revealed the line of the Roman road through this area, and enclosures, suggested as possible barrows. These were the target for a Discovery Day of survey.

Read more about the background to the site here and here.

A well-attended talk was held to showcase the results that evening in the community centre.

6th and 7th October: Threave House, Castle Douglas
A weekend of activity was held at Threave House as part of D&G LEADER’s Day of the Region. Many adults and children dropped in and joined-in with a mini-survey in front of Threave House on a very cold but very bright weekend.

8th to 11th October: Kelton Mains, Threave Estate, Castle Douglas
Volunteers joined us for a survey week on a fascinating Iron Age settlement site atop Meiklewood Hill, once again noted from aerial photographs.

Read more about the background to the Kelton Mains survey.

They completed an extensive magnetic and resistance survey and produced some very intriguing results – more to follow very soon! These results were previewed at an Open Day on site on Saturday 13th October.

Wednesday 21st November – Discovery Day at Langholm

Local school children and volunteers joined us to carry out survey around all that remains of Langholm Castle. The results were presented in an evening talk; 7.30pm at the Buccleuch Centre, Langholm, which was well attended.


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