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Rediscovering Valleyfield Estate's 'Lost' Stables

In August and September an exciting archaeological project will be taking place to uncover an important part of Valleyfield's heritage - and IFLI are looking for volunteers to take part.

Within Valleyfield Wood lies the remains of a historic estate landscape, once home to Sir Robert Preston (who oversaw the construction of Preston Island), and the only one of its kind in Scotland. The area which now makes up Valleyfield Wood is a 668 acre designed landscape, and was home to Preston's Valleyfield House, as well as several smaller structures which served as offices, stables and a doocot.

Although neglected for much of the last century, the essential elements of the Estate (the sole Scottish work undertaken by acclaimed landscape designer Sir Humphry Repton) can still be traced, and although the importance of the area is not immediately readable this project will help to uncover and share the important local heritage of Valleyfield Wood.

We're looking for people to join IFLI, the Valleyfield Heritage Group, and Fife Council on a community-led archaeological project to evaluate the remains of the stables complex which once formed part of the Valleyfield Estate. You don't need to have any prior experience or fancy equipment - all the work will be done under the supervision of professionals from AOC Archaeology and Fife Council, and you will get to try your hand at:

  • Archaeological excavation
  • Geophysical survey
  • Measured drawing
  • Topographic survey
  • 3D Laser scanning and photogrammetry

In August, on the 22nd and 23rd, we will be undertaking the initial surveying of the site, which will pave the way for five days of excavation work in September, to be undertaken from the 7th to the 11th. There's no limit to the number of days each month you book on to, so you are more than welcome to try both the surveying and excavation. Work will take place from 9:30am - 4:00pm each day (there is no requirement to stay the full day if you are unable).

Booking for these events is essential, as places will be limited. If you are interested in getting involved, either in August or September, please contact Kirsty McAlister on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 01324 831568.

To coincide with the excavation there will be two heritage walks of the Estate, taking place on Thursday 7th and Sunday 10th of September.