Stones & Bones Community Dig

During March, Northlight Heritage will be running a community dig and a range of exciting activities and events in Govan Old Parish Churchyard!

Stones & Bones Community Dig

About Stones & Bones Community Dig

Govan Old Parish Churchyard has been the focus of burial, worship and power for over 1500 years but we still have a lot to learn about its history and archaeology. From Tuesday March 5th till Saturday 30th March, Northlight Heritage will be running a community dig and a range of exciting activities and events in the churchyard. The dig will be open to visitors daily from Tuesday to Saturday, 10am - 4pm.

Can I Join In?
Yes! We’re looking for local volunteers to help out with the dig and get involved in some of the other activities during March. You don’t need any prior experience or equipment, but please make sure you wear warm, waterproof clothing and sturdy footwear. All events and activities are free of charge. In addition to the dig, we’ll also be running a series of tours, workshops and events every Saturday while the dig is on.

• ‘Stones and Bones’ talks and tours
• School visits and activities for children and young people
• Developing a new heritage trail for the graveyard
• Researching the history of the graveyard
• Searching for lost and buried gravestones
• Stone carving workshops
• Deciphering the meanings behind gravestone carvings and symbols
• Sketching classes
• Photography and photogrammetry workshops
• Night tours

How do I get Involved?
We will have some spaces available each day on a casual, drop-in basis but to ensure you get a place on the dig, please book via this Eventbrite page.

To find out more, please contact Ingrid Shearer ( or phone 07432 694183)

What will we find?
It is unlikely that we will find any complete burials in our relatively shallow trenches, but we will probably find bits of skeletons that have been disturbed by later burials. Any human remains will be carefully excavated and analysed by a bone specialist before they are re-buried within the churchyard. Other things we may find include coffin furniture (handles, decorative plates and other items), fragments of pottery and other eighteenth and nineteenth century finds.

Why are we digging in the churchyard?
The dig is being undertaken as part of current public realm improvements being funded by Central Govan Action Plan and Glasgow City Deal. The designs for the public realm improvements were developed in consultation with local people. The works include:

• Replacing the existing tarmac pathway leading from Govan Road to Govan Old Church with reclaimed stone setts and paving
• Reinstating the churchyard’s original Victorian lamp standards and adding feature lighting to illuminate the access to Govan Old and Pearce Institute MacLeod Hall entrance.
• Creation of a reflective space with new seating around the Govan War Memorial
• Installing new signage and gate piers at the Govan Road entrance to welcome visitors to Govan Old and the Govan Stones.

Because Govan Old churchyard is a Scheduled Monument and protected by law, we need to make sure the pathway route is carefully excavated and recorded before the new stone surface is laid. Professional archaeologists will oversee the excavations and provide training and support for volunteers taking part in the excavation.

While we take every opportunity to ensure the details for Stones & Bones Community Dig are accurate, we always advise that you contact the event organiser before setting out for the event to avoid disapointment. All information (whether in text or photographs) is given in good faith but should not be relied upon as being a statement of representation or fact.

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