PAST EVENT: Kirkwall Garden Dig

Interested in the history and buildings of Kirkwall? Join this archaeology extravaganza in the town centre and help find Kirkwall Castle.

BBC Radio Orkney, Castle Street, Kirkwall, Orkney

What's on at a glance

A photograph of a young girl with green gloves digging in a shallow trench with a trowel

About the Garden Dig

The University of the Highlands and Islands Archaeology Institute are teaming up with Scotland’s Urban Past to bring an archaeology extravaganza to Kirkwall Town Centre. To increase our knowledge of the rich heritage present in Kirkwall, the two organisations will support local residents as they dig six test trenches in their gardens and get hands on with history in data gathering workshops for local volunteers.

Local archaeology volunteers will be trained to investigate and record Kirkwall’s history as Urban Detective by Scotland’s Urban Past - a nationwide community engagement project from Historic Environment Scotland and supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The scheme invites local people to contribute to Canmore, the national record of architecture, archaeology and industry and one of Scotland’s national collections. 

Participants will learn how to recognise and identify architectural features and to record them for posterity and submit their findings for inclusion in Canmore.

The Kirkwall Garden Dig project is part of the Kirkwall Townscape Heritage Initiative Archaeology Programme ‘Discover Hidden Kirkwall’.

A photograph of a man stood in a deep trench beside an uncovered ruin.In May 2016, the community archaeology initiative uncovered parts of the medieval shoreline of Kirkwall.

How can I get involved?

While most of the garden digs themselves will be on private land and inaccessible to the public, Kirkwall’s residents and visitors are invited to see an archaeology dig in action at the BBC Radio Orkney Garden. This excavation will be open to the public from 9.30am to 5.00pm on Thurday 4 August to Monday 8 August 2016.

Free drop-in training sessions for Urban Detective volunteers will run from 10.00am to 12.00pm on Friday 5 to Sunday 7 August at BBC Radio Orkney.

To find out more or volunteer to become an Urban Detective email daniel.lee@uhi.ac.uk or phone 01856 569225.