The search for Bridgend Medieval Royal Chapel

An exciting community archaeology project involving excavations at a possible medieval chapel is to begin at in south Edinburgh over the coming weeks.

The project is led by the Greater Liberton Heritage Project who have been awarded a Heritage Lottery Fund Sharing Heritage Grant.

They have carried out research which has discovered historical references to a chapel being built at Bridgend, Old Dalkieth Road in 1518 and it is thought that remains of the chapel may be incorporated into the present farm buildings.

While the buildings have had many uses over the years, from labourer’s cottages to a pigsty, it is hoped that some structural elements which can reveal if they were originally a chapel will remain. A stone font was found at the site by the previous owner.

This was confirmed as a medieval font by Edinburgh City Archaeologist, John Lawson and donated to the Edinburgh City museum in the 1990s. The project will focus on excavations at the possible chapel which will be led by local archaeology company Rubicon Heritage Services.

The Sharing Heritage programme is a new funding programme to help people across the UK explore, conserve and share all aspects of the history and character of their local area. Edinburgh City Council is also supporting the project.

Councillor Richard Lewis, Convener of Culture for the City of Edinburgh Council, said: "This project will significantly support the cultural heritage of the South Edinburgh area. It is fantastic that the search for Bridgend Chapel will also offer local schools and community groups the chance to get involved and learn about their local heritage and archaeological techniques. Edinburgh’s rich history is by no means restricted to the World Heritage Sites of the Old and New Towns, and we look forward to uncovering important insights into the unique history of Greater Liberton."

The excavations will take place in June 2014.

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