Hard at work

Graveyard Dig – Day 28

‘Twas the week before Christmas when all through the graveyard the sound of YAC members excavating, planning and sieving could be heard quite distinctly. Our seasonal excavators were Erin, Kathryn, Katie, Lee and Michal with a special guest appearance by Erin’s brother Keiron.

Hard at work
Hard at work
Some sieving of spoil
Some sieving of spoil

We got on really well today, finally exposing the table stone, complete and with a beautifully clear inscription to one Andrew Bridges. Michal also discovered that the base of the stone, which has been visible for some weeks now, is also inscribed “2 Rooms”, which suggests that Mr Bridges was not planning on resting alone in the graveyard.

Mr Bridges' gravestone revealed
Mr Bridges’ gravestone revealed
Andrew Bridges gravestone. He died in 1833 at the age of 76
Andrew Bridges gravestone. He died in 1833 at the age of 76

The record of Andrew’s burial tells us that he was a mason who lived on Woodhead Street (now the north end of Chalmer’s Street). He died in 1833 of dropsy.

Dougie, working very carefully, found the first metal container of the dig over in the north-east corner of the site. It is flattened somewhat and has a bit of a hole in the bottom, but is otherwise complete. It seems to have lugs on either side, but as it has rusted, it has accreted soil and stone, so its form is not clear.

A curious can found in the rubble of the south-east trench
A curious can found in the rubble of the south-east trench
Trench section on the north side of the Bridge trench
Trench section on the north side of the Bridge trench

The south edge of the Bridge trench is proving to be interesting. Firstly Mr Bridge’s gravestone continues north underneath the neighbouring low marker, and secondly, the rubble layer appears to continue partially beneath the low marker, with a clear edge between rubble and graveyard soil. This suggests we have yet another low marker that was moved in some way in 1927. We will clean and record the section to make the relationship between the stones and rubble layer as clear as we can.

As you can see if the final photograph, we are excavating another gravestone to the south of Mr Bridge. This one is made of sandstone, so we are proceeding carefully and with little expectation of a surviving inscription; the surface being very pitted and crumbly. So, still plenty to do in the New Year!

Mr Bridge and the neighbours
Mr Bridge and the neighbours

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mark_s

I am one of the Dunfermline YAC leaders and very old and grumpy.

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