Supporting local businesses will be key to recovery after the lockdown ends. Has the crisis made you more likely to shop locally?

Free Press Commercial Print Stair Estates

Step into the past in the Rhins

A DRAMATIC archaeological project in the Rhins is being highlighted. The latest edition of Tidelines, from the Solway Firth Partnership – usually in print format but available to download because of the Coronavirus crisis – looks at the ‘Rhins Revealed' programme. Say the Partnership: “The Rhins Revealed is an exciting new community archaeology initiative that is part of the 83-mile walking route. It sets out to record, investigate and conserve some of the most important archaeological sites found on the Rhins, and is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the Coastal Communities Fund and Dumfries and Galloway Council. The Rhins Revealed commenced in autumn 2019 and will provide opportunities for the public to be involved in research, site monitoring and learning new skills along the route of the Rhins of Galloway Coast Path. AOC Archaeology Group have been appointed to deliver the two-year programme which aims to inspire the community, young people and visitors about the archaeology of the Rhins through talks, workshops, site visits and the engagement of volunteers in the assessment, improvement and monitoring of heritage ‘Sites at Risk'. The Rhins of Galloway has a rich cultural past and a wide range of important heritage sites. These sites include prehistoric forts, medieval churches and castles, historic farmsteads, harbours and lighthouses and Second World War military installations. Many of these sites are on or close to the route of the coastal path but few people are aware of them. Graeme Cavers, Director at AOC Archaeology said, “We want to encourage local people to take a leading role in caring for the heritage sites on the Rhins, particularly sites that are at risk from erosion. There are opportunities to learn skills in archaeological recording working alongside professional archaeologists on one of our field workshops, and to contribute to the study of Galloway's past.” The first site that AOC Archaeology are investigating is Doon Castle Broch, Ardwell Bay, pictured, which is nationally important and a designated Scheduled Monument. Following some introductory talks about the archaeology of the area in late November, a group of intrepid volunteers made their way to the remains of the Broch, located on the top of the sea cliffs, to help survey the historic site. The archaeologists had already undertaken a laser scan and the volunteers then carried out some further surveys needed to provide a full, detailed record of the site. The survey data indicates that although collapsed and damaged, the structure is in relatively good condition. AOC Archaeology have prepared a proposal for conservation and consolidation of this significant prehistoric site and consent is being sought from Historic Environment Scotland to do some limited conservation and consolidation work to stabilise the structure. Brochs are normally associated with northern Scotland and are not common south of the Clyde. Doon Castle Broch is one of three known brochs in Dumfries and Galloway, however it is not characteristic of other ‘typical' brochs. The Rhins Revealed project will enable us to investigate the purpose, location, and date of this intriguing building and how it fits/compares with other similar structures. Dumfries and Galloway Council is working in partnership with landowners, local communities and other organisations to create the Rhins of Galloway Coast Path. The route builds on the existing Mull of Galloway Trail, which runs down the east coast of the peninsula, to create a complete loop around the Rhins. It will link to the wider network of long- distance routes, including the Southern Upland Way and the Ayrshire Coastal Path, and take around five days to walk. It is hoped that once complete the new coast path will be recognised as one of Scotland's Great Trails. As well as providing opportunities for people to actively explore, access and enjoy the spectacular coastline and seascapes of the Rhins the project is developing a range of activities for visitors and residents to investigate and learn about the rich cultural and natural heritage of the peninsula. Currently on hold due to the Covid-19 restrictions, project partners are discussing how to proceed in line with Government guidance on social distancing once restrictions are eased. To find out more about The Rhins Revealed and the Rhins of Galloway Coast Path please contact Anna.Johnson@dumgal.gov.uk or check out www.facebook.com/Rhinsofgallowaycoastpath To download Tidelines, see https://www.solwayfirthpartnership.co.uk

<< back Published: 29 Apr 2020, 11:23