Digg uncovers secrets about the past of Crathes Castle

Veronica Ross with a bottle seal showing the Burnett Coat Of Arms found at an archaeological dig at Crathes Castle.

Veronica Ross with a bottle seal showing the Burnett Coat Of Arms found at an archaeological dig at Crathes Castle.

Volunteer archaeologists have been helping to uncover the forgotten past of Crathes Castle, near Banchory. This has been part of a month-long dig, during which the team has uncovered traces of a 17th century courtyard and old buildings under the lawn.

Pottery and bits of glass have also been found, as well as a bottle seal stamped with the crest of the Burnett of Leys family, who built the castle and still own much of the estate.

 Remains of 18th century glass bottles, including this impressive Burnett family seal which would probably have been on a bottle of claret.

Remains of 18th century glass bottles, including this impressive Burnett family seal which would probably have been on a bottle of claret.

Previous to this find archaeologists have discovered a timber hall on the site of the castle. The hall is likely to have been a community building for settlers who travelled from southern Europe in boats made out of skins or logs.

This site was discovered after looking at an ariel photograph of the land in 1976, seeing a colour difference of the ripening cereal crop the outline of an ancient building could be traced. This building is thought to be from the Dark Ages, 1500 years ago.

Crathes is an early neolithic building, near the banks of the River Dee, sadly like so many others it was destroyed by fire. It is one of only three of its kind in Scotland. The others are close by at Balbridie, and at Claish in Stirlingshire.

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About Amanda Moffet

I run www.scotclans.com with Rodger Moffet. Live in Edinburgh and love travelling around Scotland gathering stories.

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