Islay Heritage

   On Thursday 23rd March primary 5/6/7 walked to the ruins of Kilbride Chapel in order to survey it as part of the Islay Heritage Schools Project. For this project all the schools on Islay visited the Giant’s Grave earlier in the year and then worked with Reading University to choose a monument close to their school which they would then adopt and survey to find out more about it.  Port Ellen’s site was Kilbride chapel and they surveyed the site using geophysics, archaeology photography, scale drawing and by making a documentary.

Rob showed us how to do the geophysics; there was machine and that went into the ground with electricity to see if they could find anything else about the land around the Chapel. The geophysics worked by sending an electrical current through the ground and if there was a higher reading then there was a rock under the ground this is because it takes more energy to get through the rock. If there was a lower reading that means that there would of been water because it didn’t use lots of energy to get through it. To use the geophysics you would stick both spikes into the ground and wait for a beep then move onto the next spot a certain distance away. We were all glad that people from the University Of Reading to come over and help us as they were very interesting and taught us lots.  The data we gathered from the geophysics will actually be used in the final report on the site which is very exciting.

We were also doing archaeology photography with Alex. Before you take the picture you have to remember two things. The first thing to remember is you need to put the measuring stick onto where you are taking a picture of so you have a scale to know how big the things in the photo are, and you have to remember to use the right size measuring stick. The other thing to remember is to put a chalkboard with the sites name, where it is, what it is and what direction it is taken from. You also need to put a north arrow pointing to north. You have to fill in a register after taking a picture. You have to write the site name and the description from the chalkboard, what direction it was from and lots more. This is so that people in the future know what it was about. The site name was KIL17 for Kilbride chapel in 2017.  We enjoyed taking accurate photos.

We were also did photography and filming and you had to put up a big 5m pole to sit the camera on and you have to make sure that the camera is screwed on properly so it won’t fall off. The archaeologists helped us with all of this. We also made a documentary and it was about what we were doing at Kilbride Chapel and we had to use a radio microphone to record. Showing us how to do things properly is one of the reasons Islay Heritage is so good.

The last activity we did was making an accurate scale drawing of the chapel with Darko. We did this by measuring all the sides and scaling it down properly on graph paper with a scale of 1:50. The picture looked really cool and showed us what the chapel looks like-it had really thick walls and was a lot smaller than we thought it would be.  We checked our drawing was correct using a GPS positioning pole.  We learned lots of new skills and at the end we got to see the results of the geophysics in school and it showed that there might have been an enclosure around the chapel and we were the people who found out that evidence which was very exciting!  We then drew pictures of what we thought it might have been like in the past before it fell down.

We want to say thank you to Islay Heritage because they have helped us with all our archaeological digs and surveys by showing us what you need to know to be an archaeologist .  We have also found out lots more about our local heritage and know that Islay is an amazing place with lots of history waiting to be discovered.  Without them none of this learning would have been possible and they have helped us know more about where we live and what it used to be like. We appreciate all the help we get from Islay Heritage. THANK YOU ISLAY HERITAGE!

By Kaitlyn and Rowan

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