The excavation at Rosal is one of the few undertaken to investigate the remains of a rural township for this period of Scottish history.

In 1962, Horace Fairhurst of Glasgow University surveyed the remains of the township and identified over 70 buildings including houses, barns, outhouses and corn-drying kilns.

Fairhurst then excavated a sample of these buildings, including a house of a type known today as a byre-dwelling.

Byre dwellings

The byre dwelling was a long rectangular building, 26 metres long in total, built on a slope.

There were two rooms for the family living there to use; the main room had a central fire where the family would gather. At the lower end of the building there was the byre where the animals would stay. Their closeness to the family would have provided extra heat for the house.

Historical records mention Rosal as early as 1269. The excavations, however, only found remains for houses dating to around the 18th century. It did not discover evidence of any medieval houses. This could be because they built the later houses on the site of the old houses and re-used the same building materials.

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