Crumbling Heritage; Historic Sites in Danger of Collapsing into the Sea as Coastline Disappears

By Storrar, Joanne | Daily Mail (London), December 24, 2001 | Go to article overview

Crumbling Heritage; Historic Sites in Danger of Collapsing into the Sea as Coastline Disappears


Storrar, Joanne, Daily Mail (London)


Byline: JOANNE STORRAR

ANCIENT historic landmarks are being washed away as a result of global warming.

Some of Scotland's most prized archaeological sites are disappearing into the sea as the coastline i s steadily eroded.

Archaeologists are now engaged in a race against time as they desperately try to gather as much information as they can before they vanish for ever.

Experts fear that, with the coast receding by up to a metre a year, it may be only a matter of months before many of the landmarks crumble into the sea.

New historical sites are constantly being uncovered along Scotland's 7,500-mile coastline, but archaeologists fear many will be lost as a result of global warming.

Only about 20 per cent of the coast has been investigated so far.

One of the sites most at risk from coastal erosion is Dunbar Castle, East Lothian, the 12th century fortress where Mary Queen of Scots hid in 1567 after the murder of her second husband, Lord Darnley.

The ruined castle on the mouth of Dunbar's harbour is already crumbling.

Part of the rock face has fallen into the sea, partially blocking the harbour mouth. As well as being a loss to Scotland's heritage, local fishermen also fear another rock fall would completely block the entrance to the harbour.

One of the country's earliest chapels is also set to disappear off the coast of the Shetland Islands.

Gungstie Chapel on the island of Noss is more than 1,000 years old and archaeologists believe it may have once been used by Vikings.

A medieval fortress on the coast of the Isle of Lewis has also begun to disintegrate. …

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