We completed an evaluation in relation to the proposed development of an irregularly shaped area of grassland and car park adjacent to Barrhead Road in Paisley.
The site is overlooked from the east by Blackhall House (shown above), a category B-listed building with origins in the 16th century. A chapel associated with Blackhall or its predecessor is purported to have lain to the north and west of the proposed development, making it likely that further structures existed between, or around, the two. Map regression indicated that whilst the site may have been occupied in the medieval period, areas remained on the whole undeveloped post-production of the 1st edition Ordnance Survey maps. A large care home named ‘Castle House’ was erected in the 1970s, but it was unclear how extensive and intrusive the foundations for this were, whilst significant areas of the site appear to have survived free of modern development.
The archaeological evaluation resulted in the opening of 16 specifically placed linear trenches totalling 6% of the total area to be developed.
The evaluation revealed large areas of the site to contain deep deposits of industrial made-ground, whilst construction and subsequent demolition of Castle House had caused significant disruption across much of the site. No pre-19th century artefacts were recovered, although a number of walls of earlier structures and boundaries were revealed.
We recommended no further archaeological involvement was required in the development and acted as liaison between the client and the planning authorities to ensure the proposed foundations posed a minimal threat to the 18th century structural remains.