West Lothian Archaeology Group

Woodend Archaeological  Site

Site 1: NS 927 690

Ogilface Castle 'site of '

Archaeology Index

Barony of Ogilface Index

see also Woodend


17 Jan 2010  KAP

10 February 2009

Visible spectrum, red channel, Fuji F20fd, low sun, 29 November 2008.
Near IR, with converted Fuji F30, overcast, January 2011.

Note the near centrally placed circular feature

(Fuji S6500fd, R72 infra-red filter, ISO 200, f3.3, 1/2sec.  Nov. 2007)

Looking north from the path on the hillside behind the houses of Millburn Crescent ( R72 infra-red filter )

Woodend Farm site (compare with Blackridge site)

Looking from the northeast (approx)

Looking from the northeast (approx)

Looking from the northwest (approx)

Photos taken in the ultra-violet (longer grass than above) July 2009

Note that the linear features are less emphasised

Fuji F30 with Hoya U-360 UV-pass + Schott BG39 IR-block, 25mm filters


The site is best viewed from the path on the hillside to the south/east, behind the houses of Millburn Crescent (see below)






The site from the path alongside Barbauchlaw Glen

The northern edge as approached from the east
Southern edge looking east -Barbauchlaw Glen on right Southern edge looking west
The northern edge looking east Southern edge looking north


Woodend Survey 21st April 2007


A survey of the Woodend location was conducted on the 21 April 2007 by The Edinburgh Archaeological Field Society  (EAFS)


Woodend Survey 19th May 2007



The weather conditions were atrocious and the survey did not proceed beyond Woodend. Despite this, Peter Morris saved the day with his magnetometry readings using a Bartington Gradiometer. The results are shown below along with the ground resistance data collected by the team on the 21st April.


Survey Results

Jill Strobridge organising the plane table survey

Drawing a plane table plan is encouraged by SRP with equipment provided by RCAHMS

Orientation ^ West

Left: Magnetometry ( Peter Morris) Right: Ground Resistance ( EAFS)


Also, on the 19th May, we spoke for the first time to David Partner who was a history teacher at Armadale Academy when he was involved in supervising pupils at  the original excavation in the late1960s. He told us that, at that time, they believed that they were dealing with a motte and bailey castle and that their dig was within the inner wall.

We hope to gather more information about this original excavation and are looking forward to others contacting us who may have a photographic record.


Woodend Survey 5th August 2008


Peter checking his linear array (Data below) Peter and Ian deep in discussion
Looking east  KAP As left but in the infra-red  Shadow-free IR KAP

Note for reference the D-shaped feature nearest the camera

Infra-red kite aerial photo (Western end - see above photo) Shadow-free IR KAP

Note the circular feature* enclosing the D-shaped structure and the tyre tracks circling away from the outer edge of the site (click on image to enlarge) 

Same features as left (click on image to enlarge) Shadow-free IR KAP

A reasonably well exposed image showing a good balance between absorbed and reflected IR light, with only a little overexposure

Warm, dry and, occasionally, sunny: ideal conditions for a
rest from activities. (^ north)
Infra-red photo taken September 2008. (^ west) IR KAP in low sunlight

Note that the large circular feature is not the same as the one above* (left) as it does not include the D-shaped structure (It may simply be the disposition of debris). This image is predominantly shadow relief, unlike the more gentle, balanced, shadow-free IR images above


Kite aerial thermogram of the western end - see images above.

(Thermal infra-red - near vertical)

29 March 2012    ^East


(Thermal infra-red - oblique)

30 March 2012    ^East



More near infra-red images

17 January 2010

Note the large circular/annular feature which is cut by the ruin   IR KAP in sunlight - original colour
20 January 2010
Shadow-free IR KAP image looking approximately westwards (inverse image on right)

24 January 2010

Part of a circular feature at the extreme left (Looking approximately eastwards - south-east part of site) Again showing the feature cut by the eastern end of the remains of the stone structure

Near vertical shot (Stone structure lower left quadrant - note how it looks very different to in the images taken four days previously)  Shadow-free IR KAP

The above feature could be the remains of the original seat of the Barony (at the eastern end of the Strath of Ogilface - Barbauchlaw Glen) and therefore significantly pre-dating the stone structure(s).

This is the third possible circular feature associated with the stone structure. Any relevance to the structures on the ground has yet to be established.

Compare with the large Getmapping image and here

We will return to take further near IR photos in an attempt to clarify some of the linear features.

The site appears more complex than we had thought originally.



19 March 2011


On the north side of the site, south of the houses, is a revetment, of unknown depth.

These stones have become a little more exposed this winter.

Looking eastwards.

Near infra-red KAP image.  ↑~N

Note that the lighting has produced different quality images to the ones taken on 24 January 2010, which are much less  defined structurally.
The NIR KAP photos below were taken by Jim Knowles

Jim Knowles 19 March 2011

~NNW →


The remains are situated on a promontory, with Slack Burn to the immediate north and east, which then flows south to join nearby Barbauchlaw Burn. Barbauchlaw Burn was the southern boundary of the barony, flowing eastwards along the Strath of Ogilface (The Glen). The site consists of up-standing remains of walls and stonework debris, forming a rectilinear structure, typical of a Scottish medieval tower house. The remains could form more than a single construction phase, with an older building existing below the upstanding remains. Even more interesting, there could have been a much earlier wooden structure that has been replaced with a stone one at a later date. At some time, the building either fell into disrepair, either through destruction during the period of the Covenanters or simply was abandoned. Either way, more work is required to examine this fascinating site.


See also  EAFS Reports below.



Linear Array Data    Peter Morris



EAFS reports submitted to Historic Scotland:

H.M.D. Jones, Geophysical Survey at Ogilface Castle and Stand Hill, Armadale, West Lothian. Edinburgh Archaeological Field Society, EAFS Geophysics Occasional Paper No19, March 2008.

H.M.D. Jones, Resistive Linear Array Survey at Ogilface Castle, Armadale, West Lothian. Edinburgh Archaeological Field Society, EAFS Geophysics Occasional Paper No 22, October 2008.