BALISCATE the events to date
Go to Mull Museum Facebook page to see pictures and daily reports of the excavation
2008 - Site was discovered in the forest plantation as part of our Baliscate Scotland’s Rural past project
2008 – Autumn – Site is surveyed by RCHAMS and a programme recorded for Radio 4 called ankle high history
appears in local and national newspapers
Spring 2009 Radio programme Ankle High History is aired
2009 - May - Time Team make the programme about the Chapel
April 2010 the Time Team programme is broadcast on Channel 4
We have had numerous meetings and discussions at the Mull Museum planning the future for Baliscate Chapel site with Dr Gavin MacGregor from GUARD, Matt Ritchie and members of the Forestry Commission , Dr John Raven from Historic Scotland, and Phil Richardson, Adopt-a-Monument Officer from Archaeology Scotland and istoric Scotland who have advised us of the next steps forward to continue the excavation.
The Forestry Commission have promised to match fund with work in clearing trees and creating paths and roads into the site.
Jean Whittaker the archivist from the Mull museum and I have prepared the “Report on Baliscate Chapel” which also includes the full excavation report from the Wessex Archaeology for the Time Team dig, maps and photographs etc. This is being sent to universities and groups who maybe interested in carrying out the future excavations at Baliscate. These can be purchased from the Mull Museum which is open from the 31st March for £10 per copy, all the proceeds go towards funding the excavation.
We had an evening in the Tobermory church hall in September 2010 with a film show and presentation inviting the community on Mull to get involved with the project, we had a very successful evening with a favourable response with local people offering help and support and useful suggestions regarding car-parking.
We sold copies of our report on that evening. We also set up a display in the village hall in Dervaig at a talk by Archaeology Scotland and sold more copies of the report.
The Mull Museum is the steering group for the Baliscate project and
we have a Baliscate sub committee consisting of myself, Jean Whittaker, Andrew Reid and Olive Brown.
Jean, Andrew , his wife Ros and I have been helping out with the Kildavie archaeology project once a month under the guidance of Phil Richardson Archaeology Scotland, Helena Gray and Ian Hill, the training and experience we are gaining will be very valuable when we start our excavation. We are all part of the Mull Archaeology Interest Group founded by Bill Paterson, this has developed from the Kildavie Project at Croig and is a lot of fun, there are now 95 members and around 35 of them join the dig at Croig each month. These people will also be keen to be involved in the future Baliscate excavations.
We are busy raising funds locally by selling the report (mentioned below) and have applied to local organisations that give small grants and also applying to Heritage Lottery for funding. When we have this in place we will continue the excavation.
We are also studying Baliscate and the surrounding area in more detail and the re-use of the site that includes standing stones, a crannog at Loch na meal, (less than a mile away) a burial cairn, the Chapel site, a possible monastery, the corn drying kiln, the census records for the Duke of Argyll showing 83 people living at Baliscate.
The name of the hill on which the chapel sits is Coille Creag a Chait and a connection to this place name and a saint maybe was mentioned during the Time Team dig by historian Helen Geek.
We have had a number of people contacting us by email with useful references and ideas for the mystery surrounding the chapel, which we have added to the archive folder, every bit of information however small is useful to us.
We have continued with fund raising throughout 2011,Mull and Iona Community Trust- Mess and the Eagle Hide gave us £250 and £380 which helped towards the printing of reports and leaflets with a trail taking you to standing stones, corn drying kiln and the chapel site. The Forestry commission have erected posts with our cross logo designed by Andrew Reid and created by Brian Swinbanks at KFT
We spent the Autumn, working out a brief and filling application forms and in November we applied to Heritage Lottery and Argyll and the Islands LEADER Programme for the funding to take the excavation further.
Jean and I have been researching St Cattan trying to find a connection between Baliscate and Coille Creag A’Chait. We have now lots of material to add to the Baliscate archive.
The site was scheduled by Historic Scotland Baliscate Chapel is now a scheduled monument.
Great news came on the 15th December when we heard we has been awarded the funding from Heritage Lottery and Argyll and the Islands LEADER Programme to carry out further excavation in the summer of 2012
In January we had meetings with Matt Ritchie the Forestry Commission Archaeologist and Lorna Elliot Argyll and the Islands LEADER Programme to discuss the next steps forward. Which will be to choose the right company to carry out the excavation following the correct tendering processes .
Baliscate Chapel Archaeology Project 2012 - Latest News
We have now secured the funding for the further excavations at the Baliscate Chapel site from Heritage Lottery, Argyll and the Islands LEADER and the Hunter Trust.
The Archaeological Project will be carried out by Clare Ellis of Argyll Archaeology and her team, they will be assisted by "volunteer archaeologists " from the local community. Some of you have already signed up to help with the excavation.
The Project includes training for volunteers, guided by the Archaeologists. The Museum now needs to know how much time volunteers can spend on-site, say a day a week or 2 or 3 days - or whatever to allow the Archaeological Team to plan the work.
The dates the excavation will take place are as follows 18th August for 28 days. Numbers are limited but we do have a few volunteer places left.
If you could either email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or post your form to The Mull Museum, Main Street, Tobermory PA75 6NY, it would be much appreciated. If you have any queries, please ring - leave your number - and your call will be answered. Or contact me on the number below.
Hylda Marsh, Baliscate co-ordinator
Museum Telephone 01688 301100
Baliscate co-ordinator: Hylda Marsh Tel: 01688 302251. email@example.com