SFP is currently working in partnership with Dumfries and Galloway Council to deliver a two-year programme of activities as part of the Rhins of Galloway Coast Path Project. This 83-mile walking route around the Rhins peninsula links to the existing network of long-distance routes, and provides opportunities to explore, access and enjoy the spectacular coastline and learn about its rich cultural heritage.
The Rhins Revealed Online Project was developed to build on the early success of the community archaeology project and overcome the constraints caused by the COVID-19 virus. It uses a variety of digital media to add activities that encourage engagement while retaining social distancing.
On the Rhins of Galloway there are around 1,500 archaeological sites and new downloadable online guides have been created to provide an introduction to some of the highlights as you explore the Rhins coastline . Three guides have been designed to enable ‘digital exploring’ of coastal archaeology prior to the completion of the Rhins of Galloway Coast Path.
The first guide, (North Rhins) covers the path from Stranraer to Portpatrick (route sections 1 and 2). It is designed to help families discover some of the evidence of thousands of years of activity by people who have lived on the Rhins. From an ancient standing stone near Portpatrick to the intricately carved Kilmorie Stone, earthworks of Iron Age promontory forts to tower houses, limekilns to saltworks and, cable house to radar station, the North Rhins has an amazing variety of archaeology to discover with the aid of the guide. You can download the guide by clicking on the front cover below or clicking here
The second guide, South-west Rhins, covers the path from Portpatrick to Mull of Galloway (route sections 3 and 4). It covers sites from Dunskey Castle ruins near Portpatrick to Dunman Fort in the south Rhins. You can download the guide by clicking on the front cover below or clicking here
The third guide, South-east Rhins, covers the path from the Mull of Galloway to Stranraer (route sections 5 and 6) along the east coast. It takes in a range of archaeology from holy wells and standing stones to WW2 target cones on Luce Sands.
You can download the guide by clicking on the front cover below or clicking here
Three online talks have given as part of the project and recordings are below:
LiDAR technology has helped archaeologists find out more about the past on the Rhins. To explore LiDAR yourself click here
Doon Castle reimagined
Doon Castle Broch occupies a dramatic cliff-top location on the west coast of the Rhins, south of Ardwell Bay. Brochs are tall, drystone towers mainly found in the north of Scotland. They have an unusual twin-walled design with a stairwell and cells or galleries in between. These hollow features reduced the weight in the walls so that they could be built taller, resulting in an impressive structure that was visible for miles around. Iron Age architecture was heavily concerned with status and appearances: the bigger, the better. Ultimately, though, these massive towers were the homes of farming families.
Click on the image below and see how the Doon Castle Broch might have looked.
Doon Castle Broch reconstruction
This digital reconstruction of the broch gives an impression of what the broch may have looked like when it was occupied around 2000 years ago. The broch has never been excavated, so our reconstruction is speculative and gives an atmospheric visualisation of the site in its setting, rather than a conclusive depiction of its original appearance.
The tallest surviving broch is at Mousa, Shetland; it stands to around 13m. Some brochs are thought to have stood even taller, perhaps to around 18m. Doon Castle, however, is likely to have been at the smaller end of the scale, perhaps around 5m tall.
The Rhins of Galloway Coast Path is currently being developed and news of the project can be seen here. Later this year you will be able to start exploring the coast on way marked paths and mapped routes.
Managed by Solway Firth Partnership and produced by AOC Archaeology the Rhins Revealed Online project is supported by Kilgallioch Community Fund with funding from ScottishPower Renewables’ Kilgallioch Windfarm and Dumfries and Galloway Council.
The Rhins of Galloway Coast Path is a project managed by Dumfries and Galloway Council and supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Coastal Communities Fund. The Rhins of Galloway Coast Path Project is about much more than providing access to spectacular landscapes and seascapes. The Project has evolved into an ambitious scheme with an integrated programme of activities and interpretation to inspire and engage both local people and visitors with the cultural, built and natural heritage associated with the path and the coast of the Rhins. See the Rhins of Galloway Coast Path webpage at https://dgtrails.org/rhins-of-galloway-path/development/