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Scottish Episcopal Palaces Project – Fetternear

November 24, 2007

Fetternear PalaceFetternear is the site of the summer palace of the medieval bishops of Aberdeen, about 20 miles from Aberdeen. The site forms part of a project that is designed to study the development of bishops’ palaces in Scotland.

 Fetternear is important because it is associated with Bishop Cheyne at a time when Scotland was subjected to the invasion of English forces under Edward I. The palace was rebuilt in the 1330s by Alexander de Kininmund, one of the clerics associated with the Declaration of Arbroath (1320), which is Scotland’s Declaration of Independence from England.

By the late 13th century, Fetternear was surrounded by a moat and it was enclosed by a wooden palisade, which was eventually replaced by a stone wall, probably in the 14th century.Excavation of Dog Skeleton

 In the 2006 season we encountered a well-preserved section of the palisade and we located the kitchen quarters of the palace. After the Reformation (1560), Fetternear passed to a family with a fascinating history, the Leslies of Balquhain, who developed it as a towerhouse then as a mansion.

The site is complex. It provides an opportunity not only to excavate buried remains, but also to record and study the standing architecture. In 2008 we intend to continue our investigation into the Fetternear before the fire of 1919moat, which has some unusual features.

VolunteerThe 2008 excavtions are scheduled for 30 June – 25 July and are looking for volunteers.  There is no cost to be involved and there are campsites and B&Bs locally (you would have to cover this cost).

Contact Penny Dransart:  

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