Community Archaeological Dig

On This Page
Book Your Place
Background to our Big Dig
Key Documents


Click here to visit our page at the Eventbrite website.  There, you'll be able to secure a digging role, or a support role, on the dig itself in May/June 2019.  If you have any questions about the event, please contact organiser Robert McPhail at sonamarg@btinternet.com or 01880 820643.

If you're not familiar with Eventbrite, and would prefer just to print out a booking form (which you can complete in pen, and return to Robert by hand, post, or e-mail), simply click here, and the form will either open for you in a new tab or download automatically.

Click here to see our current provisional programme.  The programme will open in a new tab.

You can donate to our Castle Of Kings project by text message (SMS) on your mobile phone.

  • Just text the project code  -  TARB55  -  together with the amount which you wish to donate, to 70070
  • For example, to donate £5, text TARB55 £5
  • If you wish to Gift Aid your donation, please reply to the Gift Aid text that you'll receive
  • By the way, we're using a platform supported by My Park Scotland, who give us the full amount donated

You can also donate to the project through our CROWDFUNDING portal



The Royal Castle of Tarbert is "a scheduled monument of national importance", community-owned since 2004, and now a heritage park, open to the public, 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.

Over the intervening years, some £1m has been donated or sourced from numerous grant-giving organisations which, together with many hundreds of hours of volunteer time, has been invested in consolidating the ruins, clearing the site, interpreting the structures, and opening up public access.

Volunteers, including families and young people, have a maintenance programme in place, with regular working parties supported by the community and part of the village community plan.

In 2013, a detailed desk-based historical investigation and non-invasive survey of the monument was carried out, guided by archaeologist Roderick Regan, with the participation of community volunteers.  This documented evidence forms the basis of the current proposals for further archaeological investigation.

Subsequently, Tarbert Castle Trust commissioned Roderick Regan to take this exploration further by preparing a detailed project design in discussion with Historic Environment Scotland, with the proposal that an archaeological dig be carried out with a number of partner organisations, including Kilmartin House Museum and local schools, to achieve the following broad aims:-

  • To investigate the ruined structures further and add to recorded information currently available, including early beginnings of a fort on the site
  • To train and involve community volunteers in the techniques of archaeological investigation
  • To introduce young people to historical research and archaeology, through local schools and visiting youth groups
  • To add information to existing site interpretation for the benefit of the wider public who, as visitors to the area, now access the site in increasing numbers

We're confident that this further exploration of our community asset will:-

  • benefit those who participate directly, both adult and young people
  • increase community respect for our local heritage
  • add to the accumulated historical record of our castle’s royal history

Over the weekend 30 June - 1 July 2018, a party of volunteers, led, trained, and supervised by Roderick Regan, carried out a preliminary dig on recreational land at Bruce Hill, adjacent to the castle grounds, for the purpose of investigating ancient occupation of the area around the castle.  After the dig, Roderick Regan compiled a community excavation report, detailing the action taken and the results achieved.

Here's our December 2018 poster explaining how Co-op members can fundraise for the 2019 Community Dig.  If you click on the image, a full-size version will open for you:-

























Key Documents

site map | cookie policy | privacy policy