In October of last year, a watching brief was undertaken by Nick Garry of NG Archaeology services during construction of a single wind turbine at Easton Farm, Dunsyre, in South Lanarkshire. During the course of monitoring of the excavation of the cable trench running from the turbine back to the farm, a number of pottery sherds were recovered. These were found in the same area as a 'worked' block of red sandstone, measuring 0.50m by 0.48m, identified around 1.2m below the current ground level. Possible tumble and ploughed-out material were also present. The width of the cable trench limited detailed examination of this feature, as it ran under the sections, though evidence of a foundation cut was noted.
The pottery recovered during the course of the excavation was sent for specialist analysis by Sue Anderson of CFA Archaeology Ltd. This identified that all of the sherds were of medieval or later medieval/early post-medieval date. Three medieval sherds were identified, all fragments of white gritty ware vessels, and likely to date to the period between the 12th and 14th centuries. Two of these were small body sherds, and it was not possible to determine the types of vessels from which they came. A larger base fragment was also recovered, and this showed traces of a thin glaze internally, suggesting that it may have been part of a jug. Late medieval or early post-medieval wares comprised a base fragment of green-glazed reduced ware and a rimsherd of a redware jug. Both were in fine micaceous fabrics, although the rimsherd was not as smooth as the typical 'Throsk-type' ware. This type of pottery was made from the 15th to the 18th centuries, with little change in fabric or vessel form. Two small sherds of post-medieval blackware, probably of 18th/19th-century date, were also found, though again, the fragments were too small to determine the vessel form.
Although the extent of excavation was constrained by the limits of the cable trench, the location of this material and its association with a possible in situ wall foundation could suggest evidence for earlier phases of occupation on the farm site, perhaps extending back to the medieval period. Certainly, Easton was depicted on Roy's Military Survey of Scotland, conducted in the period 1747-55, on which it appeared as 'Easttown', indicating that a settlement existed in the area prior to the period of agricultural improvement in the later 18th and 19th centuries. As patterns of settlement in pre-improvement Scotland could be fairly stable and long-lived, it is possible that the material identified during monitoring work could provide evidence for continuity of occupation on the site over a considerable period.