Archaeological finds at Ellon’s Castle Park

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ARCHAEOLOGISTS digging at the Castle Park site of Barratt’s anticipated Castle Park View development have turned up ‘items of archaeological significance’ according to those involved in the dig.

The excavations are taking place as part of the planning conditions for development on the site, which will begin after the excavations finish in September. The site, which lies close to Ellon Castle and the Castle Gardens, was given the go-ahead for development last year at a full meeting of Aberdeenshire Councillors, following a recommendation of rejection at Formartine Area Committee, by five votes to four, with Ellon’s local members divided on whether or not to support the scheme.

The controversial project attracted over 180 objections from residents concerned about the environmental impact on the woodlands, the scale of the project, and anticipated increase in traffic. The scheme has found support, however, from The Prince’s Trust, who were heavily involved in the design process.

The Times visited the site on Thursday to find out more about the investigations, only to be rebuffed by the supervising archaeologist on site. However, a spokesperson for Barratt East Scotland said afterwards that the archaeology investigation work was progressing well. “It is a condition of the planning permission to carry out an archaeological investigation of the site”, she said. “This investigation commenced in June 2011 and as expected from a site close to an area of long term settlement, some items of archaeological significance have been uncovered.

“These works are being carried out by archaeologists who are working in accordance with Aberdeenshire Council’s requirements. The council is being kept fully informed of progress.

“Items which have been uncovered during the current archaeological investigation include grooved ware potshards, lithics, a polished stone axe and a wide series of post-holes, stake holes, linear and curvilinear features.

“Other features which have been identified include cobbled surfaces and stone-built drainage or water management features. These findings suggest that the site was occupied during the Late Neolithic period.” Investigative work is continuing and it is expected to be completed by September 2011.