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Ancient Remains

NOTE OF ANCIENT REMAINS RECENTLY DISCOVERED IN THE
PARISH OF CARLUKE. BY D. R. RANKIN, Esq., CARLUKE.


On 12th April 1864, a structure was come upon by a drainer on the
farm of Hyndshaw, Carluke, which appeared to be part of a culvert, built
of and covered by large roughly dressed stones. From the fact that each
end was closed by a large loose stone, and from the nature of the ground,
evincing that no culvert ever could have been of any use in such a form
and in such a situation, curiosity was excited, and the structure carefully
examined.
Feet. Inches.
Length of stone work (not including end stones), 7' 1"
Width at top, . . . . . . . 1' 8"
Depth, . . . . . . . . 2' 9"
The size of the stones, and the manner of building, indicated a perma-
nent use, but what that may have been was not at all evident.
On close inspection, it was found that there had been no constructed
bottom; that the clay floor was covered with wood and bone ashes; and
that the clay itself, to some extent, was burnt and converted into a sub-
stance of black colour. The clay thus acted on extended to a few inches
in depth. The structure was wider towards the middle than at the ends,
and this seemed to have been the result of fire acting on the stones of
the sides. The only purpose suggested by this erection, under all the
circumstances, is, that it may have been used for incineration of the dead.

Hyndshaw is situated on the north branch of the great Roman way,
nearly a mile north-west of the fork at Belstone.
A bottleful of the burnt substances found is transmitted.
On 13th July 1866, on the highest part of Law of Mauldslie, a
stone cist was discovered, the lid of which was two feet under the surface:
it contained a skeleton and bronze dagger-blade. The position of the
skeleton when first seen was not unusual—the knees being folded up on
the body; but the bones rapidly passed into dust.

Feet. Inches.
Length of cist. . . . . . . 3' 4"
Breadth, . . . . . . . 1' 8"
Depth, . . . . . . . . 2' 3"
The body lay south-west and north-east, the head being south-west.
The dagger-blade, which lay to the left of the skeleton, was broken
and corroded towards the point, a mid-rib running along it, and at the
heel of the blade two rivets were in position, and part of a hole for a
third and larger rivet was seen at the end of the mid-rib, which rivet was
found separated from the blade.
Inches.
Length of blade (an inch apparently wanting), . 5¾"
Widest part at heel, . . . . . . 2¼"
Sixty or seventy years ago a similar cist was found at the same place,
but no record has been preserved of the facts.
On the 26th December 1867, at Law of Mauldslie, a sort of trough or
large basin was discovered during operations towards the formation of a
cottage garden. This structure is much like a saucer in form, cut in the
solid rock, the rim of which was covered with a foot or so of earth. It
is nine feet diameter, one foot deep at the centre, and of good work-
manship. When found it contained a quantity of oat grains mingled
with wood fibre and fine black dust, all in a state of complete decomposi-
tion, the carbon alone being left. A layer of the decomposed grain, &c.,
covered the whole of the curved bottom, and was fully 2 inches thick at
the centre, gradually lessening as it passed up the sides to the edge, where
the layer thinned off, the grain, &c., being covered with very fine earth
and some stones.

That this structure has been a granary admits of easy inference; and
that it was full, or contained a considerable quantity of grain when
abandoned, may also be readily inferred from the arrangement of the
decomposed particles, apparently hitherto undisturbed.
The Law of Mauldslie, nearly 700 feet above the level of the sea, com-
mands a wide prospect, and lies to the southward, and within a mile of
one of the branches of the great Roman way, which, dividing near
Belstone, the one passes northward, and the other, that now referred to,
westward through Carluke, Cambusnethan, Dalziel, &c.

Previous to 1790 this hill was bare as it is now, but near its highest
point there were then small mounds—according to information derived
from an old person still living—-which, about that time, were partially
levelled, and the ground planted with trees, by Thomas Earl of Hynd-
ford. The plantation has been cleared away for many years, and the
ground is now being cultivated.
Tradition is silent, and no indications of outworks exist; but the find-
ing of these relics, and the commanding position of the place, leads to
the conclusion that the spot may have been a station for early military
purposes of the period, suited to the spear-head manner of burial, and,
it may be, this style of grain keeping.
It may be interesting to the antiquarian, of a geological turn, to learn
that the highest point of the hill where some of these relics have been
found—on the north side--consists of gravel of different epochs, and
on the south side it is massive sandstone. The stones forming the cist
discovered in 1866 are set in the gravel, and the grain-holder now dis-
covered, at 52 feet to the south, is in solid rock.
A bottle containing a specimen of the decomposed grain, &c., is trans-
mitted. Lately, at Hyndshaw, a stone ring, not a whorl for a spindle,
1½ inch diameter, and 1 inch aperture, was found.

 Update:  CPHS has come into possession of a very nice block of sedimentary chalk deposit found locally. It is about 30cm by 20x20 cm and weighs about 30Kg   Along the outside faces there are numerous fossilised vegetation and possibly worm or root features. It has not yet been photographed or shown to a qualified archaeologist. Ongoing.

In addition, the link below will take you fossils found on a local farm over the last thirty years, including a smooth black stone believed to be used to rub or scrape animal skins to work or finish the product.  

Pictures of local rocks and fossils

Read more stories from the History section
Xcraft (the next story in sucession)
Bibliography
Carluke Town Hall
Public Roads in Scotland


Created before 2012