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Dounreay - Past Present Future


As you come up to land from the foreshore you can see the Dounreay Castle.  Excavations were completed a few years ago in what is believed to be one of the most innovative archaeological projects undertaken in the UK.  During the 1950’s areas of the castle grounds became contaminated when sea discharge experiments were carried out there.  As part of its programme to clean up contaminated areas of the site, UKAEA embarked on a project to remove all this material in Autumn 1997.  However, given the archaeological significance of the site, it was impossible to simply clear the area in the normal way and archaeologists were called in to advise on the best way to carry out the work without damaging the structure of the castle.

A number of historians and organisations have visited the Castle over the last year and continue to do so on a regular basis.

In total some 200 tonnes of soil and rubble were excavated and data collected is being put together in large scale plans and photographic records.  The excavation was carried out layer by layer and the sequence of occupation has been revealed.

Oliver Cromwell’s army is known to have camped here in the 17th century.