Urban prehistory walking tours

24 Aug

This summer saw the first two urban prehistory walking tours.


These were the first of a series of free to the public walking tours that I am going to lead in various urban centres. Each tour will last for about two hours, and follow a circular route around a town or city exploring the prehistoric activities that once did, or might have, taken place in locations that are now urbanised. Through a series of stories, the tour guide (me!) will give a sense of what it was like to live and die in prehistory, drawing on a mixture of tales and information based on prehistoric discoveries made along the route, but also utilising creative storytelling drawing on aspects of prehistoric activities, such as burial rites, food gathering and tool making.

These walking tours will hopefully allow people to engage with the ancient past beneath their feet, gain a better understanding of life and death in prehistory, and surprise participants with tales (and some factual information) about the prehistoric heritage of the places that they live in. And encourage some walking of course.

The first two walks were undertaken in collaboration with others. The Glasgow Sighthill and Townhead walk was undertaken with Glasgow University’s Landscape Discussion Group who I must thank for taking up my offer to do the walk. The Crieff walk was conceived of, planned and carried out with Ally Becket of Northlight Heritage.

Here are some images and objects associated with the first two walks. I will publicise future walks via @urbanprehisto and this blog.



An urban prehistory walking tour with the Landscape Discussion Group

glasgow walk map cropped

At Sighthill low res

Sighthill stone circle in the rain

early planning map of townhead

Notes taken when planning the Townhead section of the walk

Grummel Knowe text

at Callanish b&w low res

‘Steelhenge’ aka Callanish = rusty old girders

callanish from tour leaflet

glasgow walk notes

My notes


Walk 2: CRIEFF, 16th June 2014

Crieff Prehistoric Ghost Walk, part of Perth and Kinross Archaeology Month, with Ally Becket

extract from programme

ghost walk publicity

crieff ghosts poster

Pre walk raspberry tart

Pre walk raspberry tart

ghost walk photo b&w

Ally spins a fanciful take about Crieff Knock

routeway low res

city prices shop

This shop may be home to a coughing poltergeist and lingerie thief


Scary props

primary schoolm DES entry

outside primary school low res

Discussing horrible Bronze Age mortuary rites outside the new primary school

Crieff Community campus skate park and relevant graffiti

Crieff Community campus skate park and relevant graffiti


at the timber circle low res

The end: the Community Campus timber circle


Sources and acknowledgements: the Sighthill and Townhead walk photos were provided by Helen Green, thanks for taking them! The photo of the map from the Crieff walk was an image from a handout for the walk prepared by Ally Becket, who also designed the ghoulish poster for the event. The image of the City Prices shop was sourced from 192.com and the information about the poltergeist came from from David Cowan’s website. Thanks once again to Ally Becket and Helen Green.





One Response to “Urban prehistory walking tours”

  1. Ali Isaac August 24, 2014 at 6:46 pm #

    Sounds like a great idea! How about doing some in Ireland? We have great prehistory!

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