The Hall of Dowager Lady Torphichen


Netherton Farm Woodland

North Lanarkshire


Archaeology Index

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Looking westwards over the hall to the colliery site (Top left)    Jim Knowles   26 February 2011

(~1.5 miles directly south of site 2)

Situated north of Netherton Farm (Nether Town of Blairmuckhill) on the trackway leading to Southrigg Farm

 The County of Lanark from actual survey by William Forrest 1816 (cf Forrest 1818)

James Sandilands, 9th Lord Torphichen died in 1815 leaving his wife Anne, daughter of Sir John Inglis (4th Bart of Cramond), as the Dowager Lady Torphichen of Cramond and Harthill.


Aerial photo

First visit 6th October 2008

Looking ~ north east towards the site

The site from above.  Poor lighting - overcast and raining (^ North)  KAP

Power sled 36 kite / Fuji F100fd, 29mm equiv., ISO 400, Sports setting giving f3.3, 1/320sec.

We will return when winter has cut back the ground cover


Looking east from the site towards Southrigg Farm

Looking west from the site


Second visit 18th March 2009

Ground cover still obscuring detail  Larger version  KAP

The three white dots to the right of John are 2.5 metres apart

Power sled 24 kite / Pentax Optio W60, 28mm equiv., ISO 400, Sports setting, giving f4.2 at 1/1250th sec.

Ground Resistance Survey

 19 September 2010.

The above feature together with approximately 13 metres of ground on its eastern side were surveyed.

Not as flat as it may appear in the aerial photos.

The northern side looking west.




The ditch can be seen as the curving white feature to the left of the image, which is reflected in the KAP image above. The black area is high resistance and reflects the geology around the feature with more discernible structural elements in the middle.  An 'L' shaped feature can be seen to the left within the bank and ditch in the KAP image and this was picked up in the earth resistance. Part of this structure appears to extend out of the southern bank into the field. To the east there are similar high resistance linear structures, but they do not form any discernible structure and are more indiscernible further east. The large high resistance signatures are possibly masking more ephemeral structures below and surrounding. There are no obvious signs of building rubble extending across the survey area, suggesting any remaining foundations are possibly more complete than was first thought.  It is possible that the structure was never completed as described in early accounts or the building had its above-ground stone removed to build other structures in the local area. This would indicate that the site is worth further investigation, by either through further geophysical survey using a more targeted methodology, or by further KAP work using NIR or intrusive ground truthing.    JK


We would like to thank David Reade of Southrigg Farm for showing us the ornate skewput that was found in his dairy wall. This resulted in our looking for a possible site from which the skewput could have been taken, the above Old Hall being a possible contender.  Furthermore, we would like to acknowledge the help and enthusiasm of Allan Mackenzie of The Local Studies Discovery Room at Airdrie Library in Wellwynd. Alan pointed out the association of the Hall with Dowager Lady Torphichen.

Skewput - now a gate post (More photos)

26 February 2011
Composite KAP image. Large version  Jim Knowles
The Old Hall looking eastwards.   26 February 2011  Jim Knowles    KAP
Netherton Colliery

Jim Knowles    KAP

Colliery remains visible in the image at the top of this page and at the top of the image immediately below.   

Jim Knowles    KAP

Old Hall

26 February 2011    KAP
Near Infra-red KAP (Shadowless) 4 March 2011
Western end of the hall.  NIR KAP Eastern end of the hall.   NIR KAP
Near IR KAP was of little extra value because of the thick grass.