An archaeological dig at Eglinton Park has unearthed ancient artifacts thought to be more than 200-years-old.

The excavation of Lady Jane Montgomery’s cottage in the grounds of the country park has been hailed a great success after it recovered previously undiscovered sections from its walls and windows.

The cottage was built around 1800 for Lady Jane Montgomery, but was demolished in the 1930s. Aside from a few photographs, little was known about it - until now.

A combined dig team from Kilwinning Heritage and Rathmell Archaeology, helped by over 120 Girl Guides and Girl Scouts from the Ayrwaves 2017 International Camp at Eglinton, revealed foundation walls from one half of the cottage, and a small paved area.

The dig also recovered artefacts including metalwork and glass from the windows, pottery, and a coin from the 1930s.

Historians believe that Lady Jane did not live in the cottage but used it to teach local girls domestic skills.

Some of the team’s discoveries sparked new questions. Tom Rees from Kilwinning-based Rathmell Archaeology said: “It’s been a great dig especially with the local volunteers working alongside guides from around the world.

“After all that work, covering over the site at the end of the last day was quite sad – but we’ve been helped throughout by the North Ayrshire Council Ranger Service so we hope our new discoveries will now help them to tell another piece of the story of Eglinton.”

Andy Baird, Chairman of Kilwinning Heritage said: “It was good to return to the same site to complete what we had just briefly touched on in 2012, as we were onsite for a whole week.

“We are grateful for funding from the Council’s Nurturing Excellence in Communities programme and Cunninghame Housing Association and from NAC for permission to dig.”

Kilwinning Heritage operate a small museum and welcome visitors to the Heritage Centre in the grounds of Kilwinning Abbey, Friday-Sunday 1-3pm during the summer months.