Dendrochronological at Old Wick

Sum awarded: £3,470

Old Wick stands on top of a cliff on the Scottish coast. The four-storey tower was the heart of the castle in the Middle Ages, though it is uncertain when it was built. A timber joist-end survives 8m above ground level. If it can be dated, it would provide key evidence as to when the castle was built.

Led by Rachel Pickering and Historic Environment Scotland, the project will sample the surviving timber and use scientific dating techniques to analyse it. Tree-ring dating will be used to establish when the tree was felled. If dendrochronology is not possible, the timbers will be radiocarbon dated.

Image: © Historic Environment Scotland