Summer School

Archaeology Scotland has been running a ‘Summer School’ since 1952 when it was established by what was then the Scottish group of the Council for British Archaeology. Each year we visit a different part of Scotland (and it has on occasion been south of the border).

The tour is led by experts in the field and aims to explore the local archaeology, history and heritage of a particular area. Combining informative field trip excursions and an evening lecture programme, it is also a fabulous way to socialise and share knowledge and experiences. The programme is distributed to our membership in the early Spring of each year.

The map to where we have been for the past 20 years: Summer school locations 1997-2016

Archaeology Scotland Summer School, Gatehouse of Fleet, Dumfries & Galloway, Friday 15th May to Monday 18th May 2020


Due to the coronavirus outbreak, we, at Archaeology Scotland, have decided to close the office for the foreseeable future. Staff will be working from home and contactable via email, but we cannot be reached by phone. Likewise, our upcoming activities and events will not go ahead until the current situation changes.

We hope you all stay safe and healthy, and we will continue to keep you updated with archaeological news from Scotland and share relevant resources to keep you busy during the next wee while.

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The 2020 itinerary is almost finalised and we can promise you an enjoyable summer school, so why not join us for a few days of notable site visits, interesting lectures and stimulating conversation with like-minded and very sociable fellow participants. The summer school was based in Gatehouse of Fleet in 1990, however in 2020 we will only revisit one or two sites from the 1990 excursion itinerary.

The Summer School will be based at the Cally Palace Hotel in Gatehouse of Fleet. Registration will take place in the hotel during the latter part of the afternoon on Friday 15th May and departure will be during the morning of Monday 18th May. There will be three evening lectures and two full days of guided field visits (Saturday and Sunday); participants will be transported to sites by coach.

The study area will be the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright and we will visit prehistoric hill forts, a stone circle, a ‘galleried dun’, a 13th to 14th – century church, mottes, moats, stone-built castles and castle earthworks, and an Arts & Craft church.

The programme will commence on the Friday evening with dinner at the Cally Palace Hotel followed by the first of three evening lectures. These will be delivered by Professor Richard Oram (Stirling University) on the subject of medieval Galloway; Dr Graeme Cavers (AOC Archaeology) who will speak about the Iron Age village at Black Loch of Myrton; and local historian Dr David Steel on the subject of the designed landscape of Cally. Our field guides will include Strat Halliday, Eve Boyle (HES) and Richard Oram.

After breakfast on the morning of Monday 18th May, there will be an optional guided walk from the Cally Palace Hotel led by David Steel around the designed landscape of Cally.

Please download your Summer School 2020 Booking Form here. Application forms along with the registration fee and pre-payment (as appropriate) for accommodation or non-resident dinners should be sent to the Summer School Director by 31st March 2020. Final programme details will be sent to participants in late April/early May.


Want to find out more? Email us at to receive the full programme and booking form! Be sure to act fast as spaces are limited.