In the summer of 1894, when in the course of digging the foundations for the row of handsome new cottages which Mrs Baird of Stichill was having built, the workmen came across two stone cists resting on the solid rock.
In the first, which the men opened, unaware of the interesting nature of their find, no remains were found. When the second cist was uncovered, Mr Bruce, the builder, informed the Rev George Gunn, the Parish Minister, of the find and they undertook to open this second cist.
When it was opened the cist contained fragments of bone which were passed to the Antiquaries Museum, in Edinburgh, where they were pronounced to be the calcined remains of a young person interred in a pre-Christian burial.
The first cist was made up of four stone slabs with a cover slab. The cist measured 3 feet 7 inches long, 20 inches deep and 19 inches wide.
The second cist was smaller and consisted only of a cover slab.
The finding of two burials so close together suggests that others may be found in what might turn out to be a tribal burial ground.
( The site is close to, or under, the east end of Eden Cottage. No other burials have been found.)
(With thanks to the Stichill Millennium Project)
Back to: Articles