Welcome to the Yarrows Prehistoric Festival and Joseph Anderson 150 project web site.

The 2016 prehistoric festival took place on Saturday 27th August at North Yarrows, on the northern side of the Loch of Yarrows and in the centre of the Yarrows Prehistoric Landscape.

The festival was a showcase of traditional skills and techniques, including flint knapping and copper smelting by James Dilley of Ancient Craft, pottery, spinning and dyeing, and wicker basketry with skilled craftspeople demonstrating and impromptu workshops for anyone interested in trying their hand at something new. We also had a storyteller, Bob Pegg, who entertained both children and adults with tales of mysterious creatures and prehistoric lives, accompanied by the sounds of traditional musical instruments (see Bob’s website for more details of his work) . For food lovers, food was foraged from the local landscape and cooked in a traditional way by Rosie from Wild Rose Escapes.

The event included a display of experimental archaeology and experimental ceramic sculpture.  A reconstructed Bronze Age stone row and sculpture kiln cairn provided the focus for the festival. The stone row was built by the excavators of nearby Battle Moss stone row and they tried to replicate construction techniques not tried in 3000 years! The kiln cairn was built by Jenny MacKenzie Ross of Northshore Pottery in the style of the burial cairns often associated with stone rows – see Jenny’s blog for more details.

The culmination of the festival was a nighttime spectacular centred on the firing of the kiln cairn and a performance of a traditional story by Bob Pegg and the children of Thrumster Primary School.

Catering for the festival was provided by the Whaligoe Steps Cafe, and there was space for visitors to sit and enjoy Karen’s delicious food and soak up the prehistoric atmosphere.


Firey spectacular 2015

The fiery spectacular at the end of the 2015 festival

View across Loch of Yarrows

View across Loch of Yarrows towards the archaeological landscape

The Yarrows Prehistoric Festival and the Joseph Anderson 150 project are a collaboration between the University of Glasgow, Cardiff University, the Yarrows Heritage Trust and Northshore Pottery. The aim is to raise awareness of Joseph Anderson and the archaeology of Yarrows, and elsewhere in Caithness, through a series of fun and engaging events held across the summers of 2015 and 2016.

Funded from the E.ON Camster Community Fund supported by Foundation Scotland

e-on logo   Foundation Scotland logo

Funding also generously provided by Eneco and the Scottish Book Trust

Eneco logo   Scottish Book Trust logo

Follow us on Twitter: @anderson150fest  Twitter_logo_blue_crop

Follow us on Facebook Facebook logo

Contact us at: Andersonarchaeology150@yahoo.co.uk

University of Glasgow logo   Cardiff University logo   Yarrows Heritage Trust logo

The Yarrows Prehistoric Festival logo © Joseph Anderson 150 project. All other logos © of their respective organisations. All other images © Joseph Anderson 150 project unless otherwise stated.