Medieval Palace Unearthed: Archaeologists Swarm Scottish Borders

Thirty years ago, a dowser identified lines of stones beneath a harvested field outside the village of Ancrum, in the Scottish Borders. Now, a team of archaeologists and students from around the world are excavating the site, which turns out to be a lost medieval bishop’s palace.

Located in the Scottish Borders near Jedburgh, and surrounded by bounty rich fields, lush forests, and freshwater streams, in medieval times, the village of Ancrum was an important agricultural hub. Comprising stone-build thatched cottages clustered around a central market square, at the heart of Ancrum was its castle, symbolizing feudal authority over the farming population.

Previous archaeological digs near Ancrum, at the Mantle Walls site , identified the foundations of “a substantial medieval building,” but its purpose has, until now, never been determined. According to an article in the BBC, Archaeologist, Ian Hill, said historical records show that the Bishop of Glasgow, William de Bondington, had a summer residence near Ancrum which he used between 1230s until his death in 1258 AD. The researchers suspect that the site is this lost Bishop’s palace.

The walls of the palace are emerged at this previous dig. (Ancrum Heritage)

The walls of the palace are emerged at this previous dig. ( Ancrum Heritage )

When Magic Penetrates Science

Like many ancient structures around the world, over the centuries, most of the stones from the Mantle Walls structure have been pillaged. Many of the original ashlars have been identified in 18th and 19th century buildings in Ancrum. Notwithstanding,…

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