Tongland Abbey dig

A programme of small-scale trial excavations is planned at Tongland Abbey from April. The aim of the investigation is to gain a better understanding of the general layout of the Abbey, which was founded in 1218 by Alan, lord of Galloway. Although a remnant of the Abbey forms part of the north wall of the old parish church, the plan of this formerly extensive site is at present obscure. The excavations follow a geophysical survey carried out last year.

Excavation will continue throughout the year, working on average one day per week. If any members are interested in volunteering to help with this project – for a few hours or a full day – please contact David Devereux at . Previous archaeological experience is not necessary; training will be given.

A new book has been published about Old Mortality, local stonecutter and character in Walter Scott’s novel.

In the Tracks of Mortality: the Life & Times of Robert Paterson, Stonecutter, 1716-1801’. Ian Wilson.

The book concerns the life of the real-life individual on whom Sir Walter Scott based his character ‘Old Mortality’. Robert Paterson was born in Hawick and lived and worked in several different parts of Dumfries & Galloway during his long life, including Lochmaben, Thornhill and Balmaclellan (and being based for a while in and around Kirkcudbright). The book describes the development of Scott’s novel and the contribution made by the antiquarian Joseph Train, and contrasts what is known about Paterson with the popular image of the character Scott created.

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Historic Carved Stones Rediscovered

David Devereux

Carved Stones
Douglas Stephens of Kingdon Developments carefully removing the carved stones from an outhouse wall.

Four historic carved stones, possibly of medieval date, have been re-discovered at Saddler’s Croft, St Mary’s Place. Kirkcudbright.
Three of the stones have been carefully removed during renovation works for eventual display on the site.
Exactly what they are and where they originally came from is puzzling at present.

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