From 31st August to 7th September, 2015, twenty members of Renfrewshire Local History Forum acted as volunteers, assisting the fourth excavation led by Bob Will of GUARD on the grass area opposite Paisley Abbey. In the previous excavations the remains of medieval structures associated with the Abbey had been uncovered, including the outer surface of the Paisley Abbey Drain, a beautiful cobbled area and what was considered to be a slate oven used by the monks..
This year’s excavation, as part of Doors Open Day, aimed to investigate the survival of other archaeological remains on the site. Our members were busy all week – digging, washing finds and recording the remains of structures. Fortunately, the weather was fine and the excavation had an excellent response from an interested public. Visitors on the Saturday of Doors Open Day included more than two hundred children who visited the site with their parents.
Three trenches were dug on the site and we reached the foundation level of the late eighteenth and nineteenth century buildings in Abbey Close. Unfortunately, time did not allow for further excavation. However, at the foundation level of the houses, pottery finds from the Medieval period were found. These included (from left to right) glazed tiles, plain roof tiles, ridge tiles, a coin possibly dated to the sixteenth century, and part of a pot handle. This confirmed that the Abbey Close houses had most probably been built on the site of the medieval abbey buildings.
Part of Medieval Pot Handle
Alma and June washing finds
Renfrewshire Local History Forum’s first archaeolgy meeting in the 2015-16 series takes place at 7.30 on the 8th of October in Paisley Museum where Bob Will, who led the Abbey excavations, will give a talk on the work of GUARD Archaeology. Visitors are welcome at all our meetings.