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Caithness Field Club

Caithness Field Club Bulletin
April 1984 - Volume 3 - Number 7

THE SCOTTISH BURGH SURVEY
L. J. Myatt

Field Club members may be unaware of the reports which have recently been published by the Scottish Burgh Survey Unit of Glasgow University Archaeology Department. The unit has operated under the direction of Professor Leslie Alcock and our Honorary Vice President, Eric Talbot.

The reports were commissioned by the Ancient Monuments Inspectorate of the Scottish Development Department with a view to providing the necessary background information upon which to base a policy for urban research in the future. They are also aimed at providing local authority planning departments with the historical and archaeological implications of any planning applications.

Anne Turner Simpson has written the historical sections and the reports on the archaeological implications of development are written by Robert Gourlay and Sylvia Stevenson.

Currently available are the following reports.

AIloa
Arbroath
Banff
Brechin
Crail
Cupar
Dingwall
Dornoch
Dumfries
Dunfermline
Duns
Edinburgh, Canongate and Leith
Elgin
Forfar
Forres
Haddington
Hawick
lnverkeithing
lnverurie
lrvine
Jedburgh
Kelso
Kilmarnock
Kilwinning
Kinghorn
Kirkcudbright
Kirkwall
Lauder
Linlithgow
Lochmaben
Montrose
Peebles
Perth
Peterhead
Pittenweem
Renfrew
Rothesay
Ruthergien
Selkirk
Stirling
Wick
Wigtown

The Burgh Survey Unit will soon be disbanded, but it is hoped that reports on Cumnock, Dumbarton, Dunblane, Glasgow, Kilmaurs and Kirkintilloch will be published next year if funds allow.

Of particular interest to members will be the report on Wick which runs to 17 pages, includes three maps and has a useful bibliography. The historical section gives a brief history of the burgh from its mention in the Sagas in 1140. This is followed by descriptions of specific areas of interest.

Whilst it is interesting to note that no recorded archaeological excavation has been carried out in the burgh, suggestions are made for exploratory excavation prior to future proposed development. Suggestions are also made for documentary research into discovering more information on the early ecclesiastical history and also the development of early wharfage on the north side of the river. This report should be useful to anyone interested in Wick and offers much useful information.

Copies of the reports may be obtained from Eric Talbot, Archaeology Department, University of Glasgow. All are very reasonably priced and cost 1.00 each except the report on Edinburgh, Canongate and Leith which cost 2.50. Cheques should be made payable to "University of Glasgow".