Projects

SCAPE has worked with you on numerous community projects that explore and interpret eroding archaeological sites around Scotland’s coast. Together, we have created new knowledge and inspirational case studies of what can be achieved.

If you know about a coastal site that needs attention or have a brilliant idea get in touch and have a chat with us at any time.

4D Wemyss Caves

The coast between East Wemyss and Buckhaven in Fife is home to the Wemyss Caves, which contain a unique collection of Pictish carvings. Rapid coastal erosion since the mid-20th century is putting the caves and carvings at risk.

Baile Sear, North Uist

Storms revealed Iron Age archaeology on the beach at Baile Sear, a small island off North Uist. Community excavations rescued an incredible story of Iron Age life in a wheelhouse which lasted nearly a thousand years.

Bronze Age Bressay!

Volunteers on the Shetland Island of Bressay excavated a critically endangered eroding Bronze Age burnt mound and moved it stone by stone to the Heritage Centre, saving its story for future generations.

Brora saltpans

Archaeological excavation combined with historical research of a series of stone buildings eroding out of the sand dunes at Brora Back Beach tells the story of 16th, 18th and 19th century salt production on the Sutherland Estate.

Channerwick Broch, Shetland

Section cleaning, recording and sampling of a broch which has been half-sectioned by the sea at Channerwick Bay, Shetland. This monumental structure was completely unrecorded before it was exposed by a winter storm.

Eyemouth Fort

Eyemouth Fort played a very important role in the relationships between Scotland, England and France during a turbulent period of European history. The substantial surviving earthworks and buried archaeology are suffering from erosion.

Findhorn Bay fishing boat graveyard

The remains of old wooden fishing boats along the shore of Findhorn Bay are all that remain of a fleet of mighty Zulu herring drifters. A community survey in 2015 recorded the fragile vessels and illustrated the history of the Moray Coast fishing industry in the early 20th century.

Loch Fleet fishing boat graveyard

In February 2013, the North of Scotland Archaeology Society (NoSAS) alerted us to a collection of wooden wrecks in a poor state in Loch Fleet they had encountered on one of their ShoreUPDATE surveys. Was this a herring fleet deliberatey scuttled and burnt after the First World War?

Loch Paible community excavation, North Uist

A community dig on the shore of Loch Paible investigated an Iron Age site next to a fortified dun. The intertidal peat shelf here is eroding. At every high tide, peat containing precious archaeological information and well-preserved prehistoric artefacts falls into the sea.

Meur Burnt Mound, Sanday

Volunteers on the Orkney Island of Sanday excavated a critcally endangered eroding Bronze Age burnt mound and relocated it stone by stone to the Sanday Heritage Centre. The reconstruction tells the story of a site that was used for over 2000 years! for island residents and visitors.

Newshot Island boat graveyard

A group of over 50 wooden vessels and one metal barge sitting on the bank of the Clyde at Newshot Island. Survey of the remains and archival research showed that this boat graveyard includes a unique survivor and tells the story of the creation of the River Clyde.

Pettycur’s Old Harbour

Pettycur harbour, once a key port for travellers crossing the Firth of Forth from Leith, was destroyed by an enormous storm in 1625 and lost beneath shifting sands. In 2015, coastal processes exposed the harbour foundations unusually clearly, allowing a detailed survey of the remains.

RAF Wig Bay Flying Boat Base

Survey of an RAF base on Loch Ryan where flying boats were serviced from the Second World War until 1957. Local young people interviewed two men who fondly remember the base, and created short films telling its story and reflecting on their own experiences as filmmakers.

Sandwick, Unst

An eroding building on the coast on Unst, the northernmost of the Shetland islands was excavated and consolidated. The house was occupied for around 500 years in the Iron Age before being abandoned, and later the grave of a young man was dug through the ruined building.

Sna Broch on the Island of Fetlar, Shetland

Historic and ongoing coastal erosion has destroyed much of this monument, including the broch tower, but has also revealed fabulous sections across the surrounding ramparts and ditches that contain the broch’s story.

The Hidden History of Higgins Neuk

Several seasons of fieldwork investigated a small corner of the inner Forth estuary near Airth. Starting as a search for the lost 16th century dockyards of James 4th the project revealed a lost agricultural and maritime landscape which has been dramatically changed over the past 400 years.

UKCAP Coasts from Above

Pilots from the UK Civil Air Patrol have taken to the skies for us. They've documented long stretches of the coastline at low tide, and have photographed some of our most vulnerable high priority eroding sites.

Wemyss Caves Archaeology

Community excavations in the Wemyss Caves reveal evidence for medieval iron production in Court Cave, new discoveries in Doo Cave and fresh dating evidence for Pictish use of Sliding Cave.

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