Skeleton found at Monreith farm

The three cists discovered at Blairbuy Farm near Monreith
The three cists discovered at Blairbuy Farm near Monreith

FARMER Jock McMaster got a big surprise when he was ploughing his fields at Blairbuy Farm last week when his plough unearthed an ancient grave.

The blade of the plough it and uplifted a huge stone slab, which Jock discovered was the lid of a cist. Inside was the remains of a skeleton from the Bronze Age.

He told The Galloway Gazette: “The slab just came up when I was ploughing last Thursday. I noticed immediately that it was unlike any other stone in he area. It was a huge flat stone and it got stuck in the plough.

“I had a guddle in the hole and found the skeleton. I then reported it to the archeology unity at the council and they will take it from there. I expect they will excavate the site at some point.

“There was obviously a lot of activity here in ancient times as we have the standing stones and the Wren’s Egg stone nearby.

“There is nothing much to see the moment but it will be interesting to see what else turns up.”

And what did turn up was three cists!

A spokesperson for Dumfries and Galloway Council said: “Our Council’s archeologist Jane Brann said, “Historic Scotland responded to a request from the Council Archaeology Service to fund the excavation of archaeological remains recently discovered and reported by Mr McMaster of Blairbuy Farm, Monreith. While ploughing, a large stone was unearthed that turned out to be the capstone from a cist burial. The excavation has finished and in all three cists were found. Only one contained the remains of a skeleton. The archaeological company who carried out the excavation will analyse the findings and write a full report which it is hoped will be published in the Transactions of the Dumfriesshire and Galloway Natural History and Antiquarian Society in due course. The cists are likely to date from the Bronze Age some 3-4,000 years ago when nearby monuments such Drumtroddan Standing Stones and the Wren’s Egg were erected.”