Honorary Fellows

Gordon Ewart

BA DipEd HonFSAScot

Gordon Ewart is graduate of Durham University (History, English and Archaeology), he completed a PGCE at London University and is a member of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.

He moved to Scotland permanently in 1977 directing excavations initially at Aberdour Castle and Stirling Castle in 1977 and 78 on behalf of the then Scottish Development Dept (SDD). Since then, for over 45 years he has worked on behalf of a wide range of agencies including long standing consultancy work for the SDD and its successors (Historic Scotland/Historic Environment Scotland), the National Trust for Scotland, the National Museum of Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage, Scottish Gas/SGN, Scottish Waterways/Scottish Water, and the Royal Collections Trust. He has also collaborated with numerous archaeological units and other specialist companies, both in Scotland and UK, including AOC, Headland, GUARD, SUAT, CFA, ERM, Natural Capital and the De Bois Survey Group.

Although based in Scotland, he has worked with a wide range of individual specialists from across the UK and abroad. This led to the development of new approaches to the archaeology of historic gardens, standing building survey techniques and Environmental Impact Assessment alongside the increasing use of digital technology in terms of recording, survey, data management and publication. This approach enabled him to maintain and develop a small specialist unit for over thirty years in an increasingly competitive field.

He is best known for his work on medieval and post medieval sites of all types. His early career in Scotland included excavations at Cruggleton Castle (1978-81), Jedburgh Abbey (with John Lewis 1984), Dundonald Castle (1985-88) Eyemouth Fort (with David Caldwell 1980-89). He also completed the first Urban Archaeological Survey (Inverness 1978) and supervised the Castle Bromwich Gardens research project for the Leverhulme Foundation 1987-92). After the foundation of Kirkdale Archaeology in 1991, he gradually expanded the range and scope of work for the group, to include a wide variety of sites and research projects of all periods, covering excavation, EIA, survey and publication, mainly in Scotland but also further afield.

Among many sites, he is best known for his work at Stirling Castle 1978-2020, Edinburgh Castle 1998-2017 and Holyrood Palace 1996- 2019. More unusual projects included excavation and survey work at Cape Coast Castle and Elmina Castle, Ghana (1992) and remediation works at Dounreay Castle on behalf of the UKAEA (1997-98). He ran the Properties in Care (PIC) Minor Archaeological Works contract for HS /HES from its inception in 1995 to 2015, covering a total of over 1,500 projects across Scotland. He has directed several public access excavations for HES, most recently at Tantallon Castle (2013-16). He also completed the salvage excavation and Standing Building Recording of the fire damaged Mackintosh Library for Glasgow School of Art with AOC Scotland (2012-13) Most recently, his team completed excavation and survey work at Holyrood Palace for the Royal Collections Trust (2016-2019).

He has published a wide range of monographs and articles covering his work on Scottish sites and he has recently completed a full account of the recent findings at Holyrood Palace which will be made available through Canmore the online national heritage database.

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