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Blackcastle Farm

Introduction

This report describes the results of a day’s fieldwork at Blackcastle Farm, Lanarkshire. Blackcastle lies 1km to the west of the A70 Lanark to Edinburgh road (NT 021 534). The fieldwork formed the second day of a two day introduction to building recording organised at the request of Ed Archer of CSV/RSVP. The first element took place on Monday 27th March 2006 and consisted of a talk in the morning followed by a brief introduction to a range of measured survey techniques. The second day of the work was undertaken on Wednesday 27th June 2006 and the aim was to give the volunteers an opportunity to put some of the survey skills into practice in the field.

A review of the old maps held in the National Map Library of Scotland revealed that there has been a settlement at Blackcastle from at least the end of the 16th century when Blackcastle is shown as a small tower house on the west side of a burn on Pont’s map of 1596. Blaeu’s 17th map, based on the work of Pont, shows a similar arrangement. The site is also named on later maps (Ross 1773, Forrest 1816, Ainslie 1821 & Thomson 1822) but is not really shown in any detail until the first edition Ordnance Survey map in 1864.

This map shows the main range of structures, the house block (1), aligned south-west to north-east with another long range, the stables (5) set at right angles to it at the north-eastern end. In the yard formed by the angle of these two ranges there is a smaller structure aligned parallel to the house block (3). When compared to the current Ordnance Survey this latter structure has noticeably changed its alignment to south-east/north-west (4). It appears that the small square structure (3) appears to be the south-western half of the structure shown on the 1st edition OS map which had obviously been half demolished during the construction of the cart shed (4) some time after 1864.

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