Archaeologists to look beneath surface at Drum


Fresh from the completion of work to the historic tower at Drum Castle, the site’s historic courtyard will be lifted and a new surface laid.

This is an exciting time in the evolution of the castle, as it will give archaeologists an opportunity to explore what is under the tarmac.

Recent excavation brought to light the ancient cess pit into which Drum medieval toilets would have sluiced.

This latest excavation will explore the rest of the courtyard and possibly shed more light on the evolution of the magnificent property.

Property manager Alison Burke said: “We know that the courtyard surface used to be sand.

“Eventually, it was changed to tarmac by the 24th Laird of Drum, Quentin Irvine, and the same type of tarmac will be used again.

“It will look smooth and dark in colour to begin with, but will fade to be similar to the gray tones of the Old Tower.”

Drum Castle’s 700-year-old tower was covered in scaffolding in April 2013.

This was while a project to remove a recent layer of cement mortar and replace this with traditional, breathable lime materials was undertaken.

Major structural repairs were also carried out.

The £700,000 work, which concluded earlier this year, was funded by a grant awarded by the National Trust for Scotland Foundation USA.

It was made possible by the generous support of an anonymous donor and Historic Scotland.

The National Trust for Scotland is one of Scotland’s leading conservation charities, which relies on the financial support of its members and donors to fund its important work of caring for the natural and cultural heritage of Scotland for everyone to enjoy.