Time Team invited to unearth Kirky's medieval secrets

PROVOST Robin McSkimming is to invite Channel 4's Time Team to unearth the secrets of medieval Kirkintilloch.

He hopes the makers of the archaeological programme will excavate the mound at Peel Park - site of the largely forgotten Kirkintilloch Castle.

An expert on local history, Provost McSkimming believes there is scope for a fascinating programme about the castle, which played a pivotal role in Scotland's Wars of Independence.

Provost McSkimming, whose term of office ends with tomorrow's elections, said: "The mysterious mound is just calling out for investigation.

"It has been examined before, in the 1890s, when it was immediately filled in again. There is undoubtedly a mass of material still there waiting to be excavated.

"In those days they didn't have the sophisticated equipment that archaeologists have today."


The provost added: "I would welcome any move to invite Time Team to Kirkintilloch. I would love to write to the programme if a letter from the provost would add some weight."

Even if Time Team did decide to dig at Peel Park, it would probably be at least next year before the crew arrived. Any dig at Peel Park would need to be authorised by Historic Scotland and Provost McSkimming pointed out that such programmes are often filmed a year in advance.

Kirkintilloch Castle was occupied by the English during the Wars of Independence. In 1305 - the year William Wallace was captured at nearby Robroyston - the garrison raised a petition in Parliament against King Edward for non-payment of wages.

The following year the castle was unsuccessfully besieged by the Scots, the Bishop of Glasgow, Robert Wishart, having given timber granted by the English for repairs to Glasgow Cathedral to build siege engines.

The castle was at one stage under the charge of Sir Philip de Moubray - a Scottish knight in the service of King Edward, who was later promoted to constable of Stirling Castle which he surrendered to the Scots after Bannockburn, when he was allowed to change sides with honour. Robert the Bruce is thought to have ordered the destruction of Kirkintilloch Castle to prevent it being reoccupied by the English.

Videotext Productions, who make Time Team for Channel 4, were this week unavailable for comment.