03/08/2017
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Winners announced in search for Scotland's Hidden Gems

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Six Scottish sites have been chosen by public vote in Dig it! 2017's search for the Hidden Gems of Scotland, which attracted more than 12,000 votes.

The winning sites include Viking era monuments, a 'castle on the hill' and a medieval burial ground. The ‘Scotland in Six – Hidden Gems’ campaign began in June after 28 sites were nominated by local groups and organisations. Voting took place on Facebook, where one “like” equalled one vote.

The six winning Hidden Gems sites are now preparing to mark their victory with six events during Scottish Archaeology Month in September.

The results are as follows:

  • Govan Stones, Glasgow
  • Ardrossan Castle, North Ayrshire
  • The Howff, Dundee
  • James Watt Cottage, Bo’ness (Falkirk)
  • Campbeltown Picture House, Argyll & Bute
  • Lincluden Collegiate Church, Dumfries & Galloway

With over 2,000 votes, the Govan Stones was the most popular site. The collection consists of 31 medieval stones carved in the Viking era, including carved crosses and five Viking hogback stones. Ardrossan Castle, a medieval ruin which once played host to some of Scotland’s most powerful people including William Wallace, came in second place.

Hidden gems

The Howff, a 453-year-old graveyard, landed in third place with over 1,000 votes. Fourth place was claimed by James Watt Cottage - the former workshop of the inventor James Watt, whose steam engine played a key role in the Industrial Revolution.

Campbeltown Picture House, one of the earliest surviving purpose-built cinemas in the UK, came in fifth place with over 800 votes. The final spot was claimed by Lincluden Collegiate Church, where visitors can still find angels and cherubs carved in the stone.

Dr Jeff Sanders, Dig It! 2017 Project Manager, said: “We’ve been thrilled by the reaction to the Hidden Gems campaign. The people who nominated the sites have put an enormous amount of time and effort into the promotion and it’s been great to see members of the public respond with equal enthusiasm - whether they’re sharing childhood memories or discovering a site for the first time.”

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