Digging Up The Dirt

What secrets lie beneath this medieval chapel on the Black Isle?

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St Johns Chapel Black Isle landscaping works

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Our conservation works at St Johns Chapel on the Black Isle are drawing to a close. This week we are finishing off the landscaping. Working with AOC Archaeology, we were removing a thin layer of soil to lay a path around the chapel when we uncovered some interesting foundations at the foot of the wall.

The foundations are set at a slightly different orientation to that of the chapel walls. Further investigation revealed that the structure on the North wall was slightly different to that on the South. With our curiosity now sparked, working with the contractor we undertook a small localised dig on each side of the chapel.

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St Johns Chapel archaeology excavations wall footing

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We were surprised to discover that the medieval chapel which dated back to the 1400s had been built on top of an even earlier structure.

Further research will be required I the future, but for now, with the dig having been completed and the discovery surveyed and recorded, the structures were covered over once more.

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St Johns Chapel archaeology historic structure beneath walls

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This new piece of information really adds to the value of this site.

It is important to stay alert to the possibility of an unexpected discovery during any conservation work. It may not be immediately obvious what you have discovered. A sharp eye for something that looks slightly out of place. It is easy to ignore or dismiss something as small and inconsequential, but further investigation will sometimes surprise you if you are open to the possibility.

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MAAC studio are accredited conservation architects and principal designers working with traditional buildings throughout Scotland. 

If you need independent advice give us a call ?