Following on from the previous report on medieval pottery found during monitoring of ground disturbance associated with construction of a wind turbine at Easton Farm, another report has been received outlining the results of a watching brief carried out by CFA Archaeology Ltd during construction of two turbines at Parkhouse Farm, Quothquan, near Biggar. This work was requested because Parkhouse Farm lies on top of what appears to be a prehistoric settlement, identified on aerial photographs taken by the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS) in 1983. This showed the presence of three concentric ditches in the area to the south-west of the current farm complex. While the turbines would be located to the north-east, the cable trench running from them to the farm appeared likely to cross the projected line of these features, so monitoring was requested to determine whether any trace of these ditches survived.
Monitoring during the excavation of the cable trench confirmed that these ditches continued in the area to the north-east of the farm, and that they survived below ground level despite later surface disturbance. The inner ditch was recorded in a yard adjacent to one of the farm buildings, and measured over 3.6m in width and was 1.3m deep. Three fills were recorded, though they had been contaminated with diesel fuel. Separated from the inner ditch by a gap of 8m, the middle ditch measured 4.2m in width and was 1.1m deep, and again contained three fills. In contrast to to the two inner ditches ditches, which were dug into boulder clay, the outer ditch had been cut into shattered bedrock and measured 3.2m wide by 1m deep, and again contained three fills. The outer ditch lay 7m beyond the middle ditch.
No artefacts were recovered from the relatively narrow cable trench excavated across these ditches, though bulk samples were taken from the basal fills of each ditch. Processing of these samples did not reveal any environmental or artefactual information, apart from a very small quantity of small fragments of wood charcoal which were not identifiable to species, and there was little evidence for the source of their fills. All, nevertheless, contained a similar sequence of fills.