North Port O'spittal

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Canmore ID 60612
Site Number NX05SW 11
NGR NX 0277 5240
Former District WIGTOWN
Datum OSGB36 - NGR

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Archaeological Notes

NX05SW 11 0277 5240.

In 1899, a short cist was found in a sand-pit on the farm of Port of Spittal on the sloping south-east side of the field in which there is a standing stone (NX05SW 2), and in which many grave-slabs were turned up many years ago. It measured 3'9" in length with a breadth and depth of 2'6" and was covered by a large whinstone slab. It contained a food vessel, irretrievably smashed, a jawbone containing nine teeth and other small pieces of bone.
Locally the field is known as "The burial ground of the four Kings." (see also ONB entry attached to NX05SW 2).
F R Coles 1900; L M Mann 1915; D D A Simpson 1965; Galloway Gazette 5 November 1899

From ground inspection it would appear that the sand-pit is the "gravel-pit" published on OS 25" plan at NX 0277 5240. The pit, no longer used, is partially grassed over, and lying near its centre is a flat slab 1.0m long x 0.6m wide x 0.1m thick.
In Stranraer Museum, from the field known as the 'burial ground of the four Kings' are the following finds - Nine teeth, five fragments of long bone with urn fragments and three fragments of coarse pottery, from a BA burial in 1899. Donor, Miss Robertson, Mardale Crescent, Edinburgh. (Acc. Nos: 1954/3+4).
Visited by OS (WDJ) 1 September 1970

About 29 October 1899 a cist was discovered in a sand pit about 70m ESE of the standing stone at North Port O'Spittal. The coverstone, a large whinstone slab, lay about 0.9m below the surface of the field, and the cist, which was aligned from E to W, measured about 1.15m by 0.75m and 0.75m in depth; it contained the remains of an inhumation and, in the SE corner, a broken 'urn'. Fragments of the urn, three sherds of coarse pottery, nine teeth and five pieces of long bone are preserved in the Stranraer Museum (1954/3 and 4).
The Antiquary 1899; F R Coles 1900; RCAHMS 1985

Books and References

Antiquary, The (1899) 'Notes of the month', The Antiquary, vol.35
Page(s): 358

Coles, F R (1900b) 'Notices (1) of the discovery of Bronze Age urns on the Braid Hills; and (2) of the discovery of a cist and urn near Portpatrick, Wigtownshire', Proc Soc Antiq Scot, vol.34
Page(s): 489, 493

Mann, L M (1915b) 'The archaic sculpturing of Dumfries and Galloway; being chiefly interpretations of the local cup and ring markings, and the designs on the early Christian monuments', Trans Dumfriesshire Galloway Natur Hist Antiq Soc, 3rd, vol.3
Page(s): 138

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