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ARP 2011 “Kilwinning Community Archaeology Project” by Tom Rees, Rathmell Archaeology Ltd

Lecture by Thomas Rees, Rathmell Archaeology Ltd, on the Kilwinning Community Archaeology Project.

“Kilwinning Community Archaeology Project, North Ayrshire” a short lecture by Tom Rees, Rathmell Archaeology Ltd, at the Archaeological Research in Progress (ARP 2011) national day conference on Saturday 28th May 2011 at the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

The Kilwinning & District Preservation Society, funded by HLF and Irvine Bay Regeneration Company grants, have commissioned Rathmell Archaeology Ltd to deliver this project which have aims to stimulate community involvement, education and the exploration of the medieval origins of Kilwinning. Excavations, staffed by members of the local community supervised by professional archaeologists, ran through the late summer of 2010 and will be repeated in 2011. Separate programmes of post-excavation analysis, oral history and archive research are ongoing; all focus on supervised non-professional volunteering from the community. This presentation will focus on community engagement, the volunteer reality and those portions of the excavations that were within Kilwinning Abbey; the abbey, a twelfth century Tironensian foundation, is an unstaffed Property in Care which suffered extensive disruption through unreported excavation work in the 1960s. Through targeted trenching within the abbey grounds the project is seeking to understand the scale of the 1960s works, develop a proxy record of that project, recover medieval material culture and test the validity of the monument as it is currently presented by Historic Scotland. These works are all being conducted in collaboration with Historic Scotland and North Ayrshire Council.