Introducing our new Archaeology Guides
AOC Archaeology and some volunteers have recently been surveying the site of an ancient stronghold at Castle Ban on the Rhins of Galloway coast. At Castle Ban the steep-sided artificial mound was once the site of a medieval castle. A ditch and bank cross the neck of the promontory, and the bank may have been topped by a tall fence, or palisade. The castle sat on top of the mound, or motte, and was probably made of wood. The first mottes in Scotland were built in the 10th century and were the predecessors of the large stone castles we see today. The results of the survey, which are still being analysed, will help us understand more about the site and its current condition.
Watch what AOC Archaeology were up to.
Legend has it that the Castle Ban site is protected by fairies or ghosts. At least three treasure hunters have been scared off. The first chopped his own foot off when he began to dig, the second was frightened off by eerie noises and the third was spooked by a woman in white who warned him of a dire calamity if he did not leave at once.
Castle Ban is one of around 1,500 archaeological sites in the Rhins and like many of the sites there is little known about it. The site is included in a set of three new downloadable guides that provide an introduction to some of the heritage highlights as you explore the Rhins coastline. It is designed to help families discover some of the evidence of thousands of years of activity by people who have lived on the Rhins and allow some ‘digital exploring’ of the coastal archaeology prior to the completion of the Rhins of Galloway Coast Path.
The first guide, North Rhins, covers the path from Stranraer to Portpatrick (route sections 1 and 2). From an ancient standing stone near Portpatrick to the intricately carved Kilmorie Stone, earthworks of Iron Age promontory forts to tower houses, limekilns to saltworks and, cable house to radar station, the North Rhins has an amazing variety of archaeology to discover with the aid of the guide.
The second guide, South-west Rhins, covers the path from Portpatrick to Mull of Galloway (route sections 3 and 4). It covers sites from Dunskey Castle ruins near Portpatrick to Dunman Fort in the south Rhins.
The third guide, South-east Rhins, covers the path from the Mull of Galloway to Stranraer (route sections 5 and 6) along the east coast. It takes in a range of archaeology from holy wells and standing stones to WW2 target cones on Luce Sands.
Managed by Solway Firth Partnership, our Rhins Coast Path partners, and produced by AOC Archaeology the three Guides form part of the Rhins Revealed Online project, supported by Killgallioch Community Fund with funding from Scottish Power Renewables Killgallich Windfarm and Dumfries and Galloway Council.