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Battlefield expert calls for volunteers

Issued: 15 Aug 2007

A major archaeological survey begins at the end of August in Fort William, led by Dr Tony Pollard, Director of the internationally renowned Centre for Battlefield Archaeology at the University of Glasgow.

The Fort William and Inverlochy Archaeological Project is being undertaken by an expert team of field archaeologists from the Centre of Battlefield Archaeology and Glasgow University Archaeological Research Division (GUARD) in liaison with The Highland Council's Archaeology Service in the Planning and Development Service.

Over three days, Dr Pollard will be co-ordinating a geophysical survey of the remains of Fort William, which was first built in 1654; and the grassy area called the parade to attempt to locate the remains of a 17th and 18th Century settlement known as Mary Burgh.

Dr Pollard, co-presenter of the BBC series 'Two Men in a Trench', said: "We are aiming for the first time to study the relationship of military and civilian settlement during the 17th and 18th centuries in the Highlands. We hope to tie in our findings with other sites from this period like the barracks at Bernera, which are in more rural settings. During the main part of the project in September we are also hoping to identify for the first time the exact location of the battle of Inverlochy using a metal detector survey."

Results of the geophysical survey, which lasts from Thurs 30th August to Saturday 1st September, will help the project team to identify the exact locations for the following trial excavations.

Dr Pollard added: "Once we have completed and analysed the geophysical data we will be looking for local volunteers, especially metal detectorists to assist us further with our investigations during the second two weeks of September from the 10th to the 21st." Anyone who is interested should contact, me on tel: 0141 330 5541 or e.mail: t.pollard@archaeology.gla.ac.uk .

Local Councillor Dr Michael Foxley has worked with Tony Pollard and Council Ward Manager Dot Ferguson for over a year to bring this project to fruition. Councillor Foxley said: "It is great to have this international battlefield expert lead this work which will involve local school pupils, helping them and the local community to discover more about their own history."

The Fort William and Inverlochy Archaeological Project is being funded by The Highland Council's Planning and Development Service, the Council's Lochaber Ward discretionary budget; Highland 2007 and the Heritage Lottery Fund. On completion of the project interpretation leaflets summarising the findings of the survey will be published through Heritage Lottery Funding.

© 2010 Highland Public Services Partnership.
Project part-financed by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund) within the INTERREG IIIB Northern Periphery Programme