The 2002 Season

During the eighth season of excavation in July-August 2002 the Fetternear team continued to clean and excavate a series of machine dug trenches in the north field behind the mansion, including Trenches K, L and R. Previously we interpreted a feature in Trench L as the possible footings of a house-like structure with a rounded gable end. However subsequent work has demonstrated that it is an oval-shaped feature slumped in towards the centre. It more likely to have been a quarry or pit, filled in with stones. The size of these stones suggests garden rather than field clearance. A fragment of sundial encountered among the stones supports such a hypothesis.

Excavating the remains of a dog skeleton
in the ditch fill, Fetternear. Photograph: SEPP 

Excavating the remains of a dog skeleton in the ditch fill, Fetternear. Photograph: © SEPP

Trench K also contained a large stone-filled feature, perhaps another pit/quarry. There was evidence of fairly modern soot, domestic and garden rubbish. The activities that produced these remains perhaps should be dated to the early 1900s, corresponding with the remodelling of the late 19th and early 20th century shrubbery east of the mansion.

We resumed work in the main area excavation immediately in front of the mansion. This work uncovered a substantial depth of walling, which forms part of a north-south trending wall that contained a gap which we previously interpreted as the base of a latrine. A defensive ditch to the east of this structure was filled by a series of 17th and 18th-century pits containing demolition material. South of the latrine, immediately adjacent to the southernmost reach of the wall, we encountered another section of ceramic drainpipe, inserted in the trench of the 19th century excavations reported in earlier seasons.

Following the tragic and unexpected death of Nicholas Bogdan on 15 August 2002, in future seasons we are planning to focus the work on this area of the site in his memory.


Mr W. and Mrs I. Strachan, the Scottish Castle Survey.

The project directors also wish to thank Mrs C Whittall, Mr J Whittall, Mrs C Fyffe, Mr R Fyffe and Mr D Fyffe for their support and for allowing access to the site.