54 Victoria Street Kirkwall and the Finds

The Community Archaeology project undertaken in the garden of Orkney Blide Trust at 54 Victoria Street, Kirkwall has revealed some finds from the test pit excavated.

Almost immediately the volunteer archaeologists began to unearth significant finds.

  • significant assemblages of pottery (modern and early post-medieval)
  • animal bone (some with butchery marks)
  • clay pipe and a possible gun flint were uncovered

The team found evidence of undisturbed clay in the base of the trench. This was uneven and appeared to have been truncated, suggesting that the volunteers might have clipped a cut feature such as a pit or ditch .

At the lowest levels, a small piece of worked red sandstone with chisel marks and a sherd of medieval pottery were discovered suggesting medieval and early post-medieval activity on this part of the slope above the eastern side of the street.

Broadly speaking, the small trench indicates that medieval activity occurred this far south of the palace complex, situated just to the north.

Dan Lee, UHI Archaeology Institute Lifelong Learning and Outreach Archaeologist said:

“Thanks to The Blide Trust for a really good couple of days last week.

“The set up was perfect and we have great contributions from members and lots of visitors (at least 60).

“The photo lab worked really well, and we followed up on some of the leads from the archive research, and photographed the building and red sandstone. Thanks for your hospitality and help.”

The work will continue as the volunteers research the history of the building and the inhabitants who occupied it.

You can read more about the project here:

Finds Emerge & Skills are Acquired at 54 Victoria Street

Unearthing the History of 54 Victoria Street Kirkwall

History On Your Doorstep With Orkney Blide Trust Kirkwall

Orkney Blide Trust promotes mental well-being in Orkney, through active personalised support with a focus on recovery. 

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