Christian Maclagan and Stirling’s Lost Broch

In 1872 Christian Maclagan, arguably the UK’s first female archaeologist identified a broch (2000 year old Celtic tower) in her home city of Stirling – to date the only known urban broch. Due to contemporary sexism, Maclagan was denied full membership of Scotland’s leading and oldest archaeological body: the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. In effect, she could not become a Fellow because she was not a fellow! Indeed, her key paper on the site was only accepted because it was transcribed by a man. Thankfully times have changed and now the Society is a warm and welcoming place to all those who are interested in Scotland’s past.

The site Maclagan identified at Livilands in Stirling had never been dug prior to 2016, when we excavated the site with the help of donors and volunteers and found what we think could be part of the prehistoric site Maclagan described! We’re going back to the site in May 2017 to further investigate what we found – if we can confirm the presence of prehistoric remains  we’ll be conducting a larger excavation in June!

Confirming Maclagan’s site will go a long way to righting a Victorian injustice and restoring Maclagan’s reputation.

If we undertake further excavation to do this, funding will be needed to pay for equipment hire, material costs, sample processing, artefact analysis, illustration, radiocarbon dating and staffing and we’ll be conducting a second fundraising campaign to cover this. The excavation will be undertaken by volunteers, students and local school children.

Trench 1 under excavation
Volunteers excavating Trench 1 in 2016
Stone feature in Trench 10
Possible prehistoric remains found in Trench 10 – to be confirmed in 2017!