MHG2122 - Building, Temperance Hall Park


No summary available.

Type and Period (1)

  • BUILDING (Medieval - 1058 AD to 1559 AD)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

(Area ND 3646 5105) Excavations in Temperance Hall Park, in June 1881, exposed foundation of a building 'to all appearances a dwelling house' in which a supposed baptismal font (Beaton 1909) and a 15th century coin hoard were found. Renewed excavation led to discovery on 10th March 1882 of a small bronze three-legged pot in close proximity to find-spot of coins 'in remains of an old wall left standing when some excavations of last year (i.e. 1881) were completed for site of a building being erected for Provost Rae' (Anon 1882). The 'font' was in the possession of ex-Bailie Simpson of Wick in 1909 (Beaton 1909).
The coins 'which had been enclosed in a receptacle of some kind, but which had quite disappeared' were dispersed among the workmen, but thirty gold and two silver coins were subsequently recovered as Treasure Trove. Twenty-nine gold coins were donated to NMAS by Lords Commissioners of Treasury on 13th March 1882.
Of 30 cold coins recovered, 16 were Scottish, 8 were English and 6 were French. The earliest ruler represented was Robert III of Scotland (1390-1406) and latest were Edward IV of England and Louis XI of France (both 1461-83). (This suggests a date of deposit after 1461.) The 2 silver coins were Scottish (James II 1437-60) (Sim 1882).
The bronze pot 'corresponds in form and appearance with three-legged pot in everyday use' except in size, being only 5ins high and 4.25ins max diameter (Anon 1882).
The Temperance Hall stood at ND 3645 5108, and the only open area which could be called Temperance Hall Park in 1873 (OS 25" map, Caithness, 1873) lay to E and S of the hall, bordering on W side of Shore Lane and N side of High Street. At that date only the buildings at N end of Shore Lane were in existence, so it is quite possible that in 1881-2 building was taking place in lower part of Shore Lane or in High Street.
It has been implied that this building might be remains of church which is alleged to have stood on Mounthalie (Beaton 1909) (ND35SE 10), but there is nothing to suggest that it might be ecclesiastical, apart from alleged 'font' and fact that area was known as the Bishop's Land - prob ref to 'the bishop's waste tenement on east side of the town of Wick' which is mentioned in 1575 (OPS 1855).
Anon 1882; Proc Soc Antiq Scot 1882; G Sim 1882; D Beaton 1909; Orig Paroch Scot 1855.

No further info was found regarding this site. The area of Temperance Hall Park is built on, and whereabouts of remainder of the hoard, font and bronze pot are unknown.
Visited by OS (J B) 24 August 1982.

Sources/Archives (5)



Grid reference Centred ND 3646 5105 (30m by 30m) (2 map features)
Map sheet ND35SE
Civil Parish WICK
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

Finds (5)

  • FONT (Undated)
  • COIN HOARD (Undated)
  • COIN (Undated)
  • COIN (Undated)
  • POT (Undated)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (0)

External Links (1)

Comments and Feedback

Do you have any more information about this record? Please feel free to comment with information and photographs, or ask any questions, using the "Disqus" tool below. Comments are moderated, and we aim to respond/publish as soon as possible.