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Discovery of a stone feature from the front of former Valleyfield House

Machine movements during the recent woodland management operations in Valleyfield Woodland Park dislodged an interesting stone fragment that had lain hidden since Valleyfield House was demolished in 1941.

Photographs of the fragment were sent to Fife Council’s archaeologists for comment and hopefully an explanation as to exactly what it was. Steve Liscoe, Professional Assistant (Archaeology) at the Council’s Archaeology Unit responded as follows:

Thanks for sending us the pictures of the latest find at the Valleyfield site.

I had a look at them and can identify the piece of carved stone as a fragment of one of the Ionic capitals from the colonnaded portico, formerly on the front of the house. It either came from one of the four freestanding columns of the porch or possible from the two columns that were engaged to the house’s front elevation.

Unfortunately it is heavily damaged and has lost all its scrolled features, and the section of plain engaged column beneath them appears to be heavily degraded having all its surface spalled away or rotted. However the flat face where it would have sat on the uppermost column drum is apparent, as is the upper surface that would have supported the architrave.

As you know, several of the column drums from the portico still exist in the grounds but it is amazing that a fragment of one of the capitals has survived as well. Douglas Speirs and I would intend to have a look at this for ourselves, when we can so, we would be grateful if you could give us a good location for it; and possibly provide a few more pictures of details of the fragment.

The stone fragment has now been covered over again for its preservation. However as mentioned by Steve above, there are several column drums lying in Bluther Burn to the north of the former house.


 

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