History 2 visit to Edingham Munitions and Newbarns ArchaeologicalDig

August 7th, 2016Comments Off on History 2 visit to Edingham Munitions and Newbarns ArchaeologicalDig

Edingham MunitionsA select group met farmer Matthew Taylor to go around the site of the Edingham Munitions factory near Dalbeattie. This 300 acres site was used during World War 2 to manufacture cordite and nitro-glycerine. Many buildings still remain and also many of them are dug into the earth at the bottom of pits. These huge pits were all dug by Irish navvies who stayed on site, but the workers came in on the train as the old Dumfries to Stranraer line runs through the site and was one the main reasons it was located here.


View of Edingham MunitionsIt is a strenuous walk as most the area is now overgrown and only used for grazing cattle. Matthew told us many stories about the site which was purchased from his grandfather.  It is still used for Army and Police training and is not open to the public – although there was evidence of some occupation by campers in the highly claustrophobic bomb shelter which Matthew’s aunt and father hated to go into during the raids.


Newbarns archaeological digWe then moved on to the Newbarns archaeological dig where Jenny Roberts and her team are excavating three Bronze Age Burial Cairns. We are lucky that Jenny is part of our History Group and was able to make the site come to life. The main problem is getting the manpower to maintain the site and we could see that areas excavated only last year were already overgrown. The site also suffers from flooding from the local loch so some areas have never been excavated. Jenny also showed us some of the treasures that have been recovered from the cairns such as a horse bell and arrow heads.

Burial crem pitThe cremation pits (illustrated) are numerous and change size depending on the date when they were dug. Jenny is looking for volunteers to help excavate more of the site!





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