William Wallace’s Kirk Found?

This is from the latest Current Archaeology:

The remains of a medieval church, recently discovered in Selkirk, may be the remains of the ‘Kirk of the Forest’ where William Wallace was made Guardian of Scotland following his victory at the Battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297, archaeologists suggest.

Chris Bowles, Scottish Borders Council archaeologist, together with the Selkirk Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme… commissioned Durham University to carry out a geophysical survey of he 18th century ruins of the town’s Auld Kirk. This is known to have replaced earlier churches, and the site has traditionally been associated with Wallace’s church.

The project team had expected that the survey wold reveal the remain of the Auld Kirk’s 16th century predecessor, but to their surprise no sign of that structure could be seen… their findings hinted instead at the presence of a much earlier chapel. A series of anomalies hinted at a rectangular structure measuring around 11m by 6m, lying in the middle of the extinct church’s footprint.

“Typologically, this building fits the size and orientation of a small, probably Norman, chapel,’ says Chris. ‘It has an east-west alignment, whereas the 18th century church is on a north-east-south-west line,so it is likely that he structure in the geophysics is an earlier unrelated phase. … The current ruins were out of use by the early 19th century, so the possibility that the results could link to something else, such as pipework, is limited. We are very restricted by burials in the area to allow any excavation, but in the future it might be possible to conduct limited investigations in areas where there is no evidence of burial. Having had a close look at the ruins of the 18th century church we also wonder off much of the 16th century church may have become incorporated into an 18th century renovation or rebuilding.

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