Island prehistory

 

 

This is a patch of blackthorn and bramble above the beach, typical of the Island vegetation.

 
 

What lies below, however, was revealed by excavations over two summer seasons in 1964-5.  This plan shows Phase III of the several layers, identified as an 8th-century stone chapel.  Succeeding phases were a mediaeval 'hall-house' and an 18th-century 'tavern'. 

 

 

Skeletons are visible both in the plan and in the photograph.

 

The 8th-century chapel was almost certainly Anglian-Northumbrian, typical of many such settlements in Galloway at that time.  It thus has a distinctive place in the prehistory of early Christianity in this part of Scotland.  No. 20 on the map is Ardwall Island.

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