Peebles: Student wants Kingsmeadows estate excavated again

A STUDENT is helping to compile a complete history of a Borders mansion.

Jack O’Hara, 20, from Peebles, has teamed up with local historian Sandra Whitnell.

Together they are writing a book on the history of the Kingsmeadows estate.

“Kingsmeadow’s history isn’t in a vacuum,” said Jack, an undergraduate at the University of Edinburgh.

“It’s a part of the town, it has a rich social history. It’s a microcosm of [Peebles] history.”

Border Telegraph: Kingsmeadows House, Peebles. Photo: Helen BarringtonKingsmeadows House, Peebles. Photo: Helen Barrington

While completing his research, Jack learned about the B-listed Georgian property’s ties to the Bronze Age and the Romans.

“It’s much more than a country house,” he said.

“I found an article from 1858 talking about human remains found by the Tweed [at Kingsmeadows].

“The report suggested they were pre-Christian, pre-500 or 600 AD – the Bronze Age.

“The article didn’t have much detail and no-one seems to have records.”

‘I think there’s more down there’

During his search for more details, Jack learned about a more recent find from 1985 where other pre-Christian skeletons were found in the estate. 

Jack said: “They were in proximity to the two found in 1858 which suggests some sort of Bronze Age burial ground.

“Further finds in the area surrounding the grounds include an intact Roman statuette of the god Jupiter, suggesting significant Roman heritage of the land.

“These suggest to me the sustained significance of the grounds.”

One of Jack’s hopes is that parts of the Kingsmeadows estate can be properly excavated to see if there are any other historical treasures to be found in the grounds.

“The site’s not been excavated since 1985,” he said. “I’d like to see excavation in the grounds.

“I think there’s more down there.”

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