Come along and have a Wee Dig at Abbey

Buddies in­vited to get their hands dirty at ses­sions

Paisley Daily Express - - News - Ex­press Re­porter

Bud­ding Lara Crofts and In­di­ana Jones’ are be­ing given the op­por­tu­nity to take part in an ar­chae­o­log­i­cal dig to un­earth a mys­te­ri­ous site next to the grounds of Pais­ley Abbey.

The Pais­ley Wee Dig 2017 will take place be­tween Septem­ber 18 and 24.

This sig­nif­i­cant her­itage- led re­gen­er­a­tion project will see a pre­vi­ously un­ex­plored part of the Abbey Drain site ex­ca­vated to shed light on what lies be­neath along­side a pro­gramme of events to al­low peo­ple to get in­volved.

This ties in with am­bi­tions set out in the town’s bid for UK City of Cul­ture 2021.

As part of the week-long pro­gramme of events a se­ries of in­ter­ac­tive work­shops will be held.

These ses­sions will in­volve ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the dig it­self, learn­ing about dif­fer­ent ar­chae­o­log­i­cal tech­niques and look­ing at arte­facts from pre­vi­ous digs.

Vi­su­als of the Pais­ley Abbey Drain will be fea­tured to al­low vis­i­tors to see what is un­der the area of the dig site.

Ren­frew­shire Coun­cil has been awarded £ 10,000 from the Her­itage Lot­tery Fund’s (HLF) Sto­ries, Stones and Bones pro­gramme as part of the Year of His­tory, Her­itage and Ar­chae­ol­ogy to con­duct the dig.

The 12th cen­tury Abbey is renowned, not only for its out­stand­ing ar­chi­tec­ture, but also as the cra­dle of the Royal House of Stew­art as a num­ber of the Ste­warts were buried within its walls.

It is also be­lieved that Robert II, the first Stew­art king of Scot­land and the grand­son of Robert the Bruce, was born within the walls of Pais­ley’s Abbey.

The Abbey also has a fas­ci­nat­ing un­der­ground his­tory – the mag­nif­i­cent me­dieval Abbey Drain.

Com­mu­nity groups and mem­bers of the pub­lic will be able to par­tic­i­pate in the Wee Dig on Fri­day, Septem­ber 22 and Satur­day, Septem­ber 23 with a pro­gramme of events, work­shops and talks laid on be­tween 10.30am – 3pm.

Con­sul­tant ar­chae­ol­o­gists Guard Ar­chae­ol­ogy Ltd will also be on hand to an­swer ques­tions from mem­bers of the pub­lic.

School chil­dren from across Ren­frew­shire will get the chance to be part of the Wee Dig.

Pupils from Wil­liams­burgh Pri­mary, East Ful­ton Pri­mary and Kil­barchan Pri­mary will at­tend sep­a­rate work­shop ses­sions on site ear­lier in the week.

Ren­frew­shire Coun­cil de­pute leader, Coun­cil­lor Jim Paterson said: “The ‘Wee Dig 2017’ will help bring ar­chae­ol­ogy to life, not only for the school chil­dren at­tend­ing the work­shops, but also for mem­bers of the pub­lic who have an in­ter­est in learn­ing more about their town.

“This project cel­e­brates our unique her­itage – one of the main themes of our Pais­ley Town Cen­tre Ac­tion Plan 2016 – 2026 which aims to re­gen­er­ate the town cen­tre and cre­ate jobs.”

Com­ment­ing on the dig, Lucy Ca­sot, head of HLF in Scot­land, said: “The Her­itage Lot­tery Fund is a key part­ner in the Year of His­tory, Her­itage and Ar­chae­ol­ogy and it’s our am­bi­tion that peo­ple of all ages will have the chance to dis­cover some­thing new about the her­itage they care about. We’re de­lighted that, thanks to fund­ing from the Na­tional Lot­tery, the Wee Dig will be open­ing the door to fun, learn­ing and ev­er­last­ing me­mories for many peo­ple as we cel­e­brate this spe­cial year.”

Con­sul­tants Guard Ar­chae­ol­ogy will be sup­ported all week by vol­un­teers from the Ren­frew­shire Lo­cal His­tory Fo­rum.

Spades of sup­port Vol­un­teers are in­vited get stuck in at the Wee Dig at Pais­ley Abbey (in­set) next week­end

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