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Digging into the area’s past

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By Fiona Reid
Digging into the area’s past

CALLS have been made for history buffs to get involved with surveying the ruins of an entire mining village in the region.

At Woodhead Lead Mine, near Carsphairn, this July, volunteers can join Can You Dig It to record the upstanding ruins of the village built in the 1830s, known as ‘Scotland’s only example of an industrial ghost town’.

The Can You Dig It team want to get a detailed record of some of the structures which are most in need.

At Woodhead, there is the remains of a school, library and housing and it is still possible to make out the structures and areas central to the mine’s workings, which went from mining the lead right through to smelting it in furnaces.

Local historian Anna Campbell will be on hand to tell participants about the people who lived at the site.

Can You Dig It has also teamed up with the Kirkcudbright Rock Art Team to investigate the ground around several ancient rock art sites locally.

There are over 3000 of these types of rock carvings across Scotland and a large concentration of them can be found in Dumfries and Galloway, with around 80 near Kirkcudbright alone. They date back over 4500 years to the Neolithic period but what they represent remains a mystery.

Throughout June, the public are invited to help look for any artefacts or structures that might reveal more about these enigmatic markings – no experience necessary.

Lead archaeologist Claire Williamson said: “We’ll be busy in Galloway this summer investigating rock art sites, surveying an abandoned mining village and even hanging out amongst 300-year-old gravestones,

“If you’ve ever been curious about archaeology, then follow the Scotland Digs campaign to discover just how easy it is to spend your summer covered in the mud of Scotland’s past!”

To find out more about Can You Dig, go to


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