The Fort has had many uses over the years, however it has been neglected meaning difficulty of access and apart from one “wandering sign” there was no information about it. The “Wandering Sign” was the impetus for the establishment of Friends of the Fort.
Fiona Glover as a member of the Community Town Council contacted Chris Bowles, Archaeologist at Scottish Borders Council with her concerns about the Fort. He had previously contacted the S.C.A.P.E. team at University of St Andrews led by Dr Tom Dawson because of the concerns of erosion of this very important Scheduled Monument. Following conversations plus a Fort visit with Chris, Fiona Glover was advised to contact Tom Dawson.The initial outcomes of the meeting with Chris was the poor access to the Fort especially Kings Mount and poor information about the site.
The Community Town Council, local residents, a local farmer, Scottish Borders Council and General Mills (Berwick) all came together and strimmed the Fort…..200 bags of grass were moved that day. The improvement to the Fort was remarkable, Kings Mount and the surrounding area was visible for the first time in many years. The comments from the general public were very encouraging. This spurred us on to meet with the S.C.A.P.E. team.
Think Global, Volunteer Local - General Mills volunteers who attended the first strim
A meeting was arranged between invited guests and the S.C.A.P.E. team at Gunsgreen House to explore and evaluate a community project for the Fort. It was decided that a community project to investigate, develop interpretation material and develop a management strategy for the fort could offer considerable educational, social and economic benefits to the Eyemouth community and thus improve immediate and longer-term impact.
Purpose of the project:
(1) Increase local understanding of the site by making accessible all previous work carried out on the site.
(2) Support a community project to carry out non-intrusive field work to improve information about the fort and provide the basis of improved interpretation.
(3) Support the creation of new interpretation material for the fort.
(4) Lay the foundations for sustainable local management of the fort area, e.g. through a Friends Group.
Following this, a public meeting was held, which was very well attended, to inform everyone, of the Friends of the Forts vision and their involvement with University of St Andrews and to offer membership of anyone interested. We had many successful meetings at the High School, the chance to have input from the University both in History, Geography and computing was very exciting for them.
We continued to strim the grass and improve the surface to allow Eddie Martin with his Hexacopter and the St Andrews team better conditions for the public week-end up at the Fort. We had 3D Catching for the young people to work on, a guided walk around the Fort. We then went back to the community centre to enable the young people to work with the computer to learn how to model in 3DCatch.
3D Catch in operation
UK Civil Air Patrol
We had a community week-end when the S.C.A.P.E. team plus The team from The school of Computing Science at St Andrews came down and brought the “virtual Reality Fort” for the community to try with all the highly sophisticated equipment available. Geophysics were carried out up at the Fort with any of the public who were interested.
Linear survey work
Eddie with his hexacopter
3D Catch being taught to pupils
The Lowland Unit of the UK Civil Air Patrol flew over Eyemouth where they took some stunning aerial photographs of the King’s Mount Fort. Their shots along with Eddie’s Hexacopter measurements meant we were able to see the Fort in great detail and appreciate its size and shape with great clarity.
Geophysics in action
Technical linear survey work
Members of the committee gave a talk at the primary school arranged an “ art “ competition where the children painted what they thought the 16th century fort and people would be like We hope now to have an annual competition to maintain interest.
Primary School art competition
The S.C.A.P.E. team and the Computing Science Team along with Dr David Caldwell and Dr Bess Rhodes came to give a talk…….over 150 people attended, increasing the membership and interest in the Fort. Some people in the town had no idea there was a Fort there. David Caldwell, Archaeologist who carried out a “dig” at the Fort and Bess Rhodes Historian, were central to both the historical and the archaeological facts surrounding the Virtual Reality construction. We had to get it right! We now have great details of all provisions; materials; and persons involved with the fort at that time.
Dr David Caldwell
A visit to the Scottish Parliament was arranged for Friends of Eyemouth Fort by Paul Wheelhouse MSP to showcase what has been achieved by the partnership with The University of St. Andrews, SCAPE & other parties.
After an introduction by Paul Wheelhouse MSP, there was a talk by Tom Dawson on the problems with erosion at the fort, then David Caldwell gave a talk about the history of the fort. Fiona Glover and Willie Crombie both gave a talk on the friends and the involvement of General Mills.
A buffet and drinks were available for all the distinguished invited guests as well as a guided tour of the Parliament building by Paul.
Dr Bess Rhodes
Scottish Heritage Community Conference
The friends were invited to give a talk on what the group has done and how the local community has been involved in the project.This included a talk on the stage as well as manning a stall with information and displays in the grand hall.
The animation done by the resident artist who characterised all the presentations at Crieff
Queen Margaret's University
Edinburgh, Lothians and Borders Archaeology Conference
The Friends were invited to give a talk at Queen Margaret's University along with Ellie Graham from St.Andrews.
Jenny showing off our stand
Ellie and Callum
Xmas Fayre December 2014
We had an xmas fayre coffee afternoon where we were delighted to welcome the "Border Tarts" an acapella group who sang and entertained everyone present. There was a raffle, which was very well supported,which consisted mainly artwork, photgraphs and other lovely items donated by members of the Friends of Eyemouth Fort. We were very pleased with the turnout for the event and over £300 was made on the day.
Visitors were well catered for
A night at the museum - February 2015
The "Border Tarts"
Maria with Paul Wheelhouse MSP and Friend of Eyemouth Fort
As part of being a member of "Friends of Eyemouth Fort" there will be events happening throughout the year where there might be a outdoor exercise of grass cutting. It might be a display or presentation from our friends at the University of St. Andrews. On this occasion members were invited to listen to Jo Hambly and Ellinor Graham Allsop give a talk on Weymss Caves and what they found there.
It was freezing upstairs in the museum
Jo, Fiona and Ellie