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History, Local History
Publication Date
04 June 2012
Available for Sale
Birlinn Limited
8pp colour plates, b/w throughout


A Scottish County's Hidden Past
by Derek Alexander - Find out more about the author

Renfrewshire is largely ignored in the general studies of Scotland’s cultural heritage. Renfrewshire: A Scottish County’s Hidden Past redresses the balance and for the first time provides an overview of the archaeological evidence for the couty, which includes Local Authority Areas of Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire and Inverclyde.

Surprisingly, close examination reveals a wide variety of sites and artefacts that relate to the full range of prehistoric and historic human activity in Scotland. From the first flints left by the Mesolithis hunter-gatherers to the imposing remains of Renfrewshire’s industrial past, which are among some of Scotland’s earliest examples. Although there have been over 40 major excavations over the years, until now the county’s archaeological heritage has been hidden away.

Re-examining the old surveys and excavations, and combining them with the ever-increasing new work, Derek Alexander and Gordon McCrae have provided a fascinating summary to inform future research and inspire excitement about this county’s rich heritage.

Derek Alexander was brought up in Neilston, East Renfrewshire. He qualified from University of Edinburgh with an MA Honours degree in Archaeology and then an MPhil study on the ‘Later prehistoric and proto-historic settlement of west central Scotland’. He went on to work for the Centre for Field Archaeology at the University from 1991 to 2000, and then took up current post with the National Trust for Scotland. He is a long standing member of the Renfrewshire Local History Forum Archaeology Section.

Gordon McCrae was a noted local historian who was also a Depute Librarian of Paisley University. He died in 2005.