Local History Group visit the Iron Age Roundhouse, Whithorn

October 9th, 2017Comments Off on Local History Group visit the Iron Age Roundhouse, Whithorn

Twelve members of our Local History group visited Whithorn on 5th October and what a wonderful experience we had!   After a delicious soup and sandwich lunch, Julia Muir-Watt, the Director of the Whithorn Trust, told us about the projects underway.   The Victorian New Town Hall is being redeveloped and adjacent to this there will be a bunk house to give respite to those who have walked the 143 mile Whithorn Way, the ancient pilgrimage route from Glasgow.

But the main topic of her presentation was the story, trials and tribulations, of the building of a replica Iron Age Roundhouse based on one discovered at the nearby Black Loch of Myrton archaeological dig.    And then we went into the Roundhouse.

It is hard to overstate how impressive this is in both size and structure.   When your eyes become accustomed to the lack of daylight, the massive timbers and internal structures, such as the stock pen, are seen.  The ground plan is based on the archaeology, but the height (11m) was calculated from the pitch necessary to shed rain water.   In the centre is a fire providing heat, some light and feeling of domesticity in an area which would have been home to several families.   We ended our afternoon looking around the atmospheric priory ruins, catacombs and priory church.

Whithorn has been inhabited for well over 2000 years, and with the building of the Roundhouse visitors can appreciate that when St Ninian came, establishing an early Christian centre here in the 4th century AD there was already a settlement here.

Other members are recommended to make their own pilgrimage to Whithorn! http://www.whithorn.com

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