Modern answer to medieval puzzle!

The amazing find
The amazing find

The mystery behind a ‘medieval’ carving uncovered in Easthaven has been solved, and the answer is a little closer to home than previously thought!.

A hard-fired terracotta sculpture depicting the Declaration of Arbroath and Robert the Bruce was discovered last week as part of a Beautiful Scotland village tidy up and an appeal was launched to find out more about it.

A great deal of excitement was generated by the find as Easthaven was popular with travellers in the 16th and 17th centuries and a number of artifacts have been discovered there, including pilgrims’ brooches and a 12th century coin.

Wendy Murray from the East Haven 800 group said: “Due to its location we know it has lain undisturbed for around 50 years.

“We have been tackling areas that really haven’t been touched in many years and the area where the carving was found was just off an old walking path. It is fascinating and it looks like some kind of king, perhaps even Robert the Bruce, sat with a document in his hands. It looks like the monks are kneeling over it.

“The material is clay-type but there were also some bits of metal in there as well.”

However, the roots of the mystery are a bit closer to the surface than the medieval period as former Carnoustie High School art teacher Tom Walker has come forward as the sculptor.

According to Mr Walker, a former Easthaven resident who now lives in Spain, he created the panel in the winter of 1967/68 as part of a project while at Duncan of Jordanstone College.

He had been inspired by discussions on how to improve an unsightly wall at the West Gate of Arbroath Abbey and also the 1966 pageant.

Our Easthaven posted on their Facebook page: “The mystery is solved - this beautiful art work is a hard fired terracotta maquette, which, although not ancient does have a link with the Abbey having being crafted in Arbroath by an artist as an idea for the Abbey in 1967. The artist, Tom Walker, has contacted us from his home in Spain and has no idea how it ended up partly buried in East Haven. It is now on public display in the Signal Tower Museum Arbroath.”

The maquette was found at a bottom of a rubbish pile in an area used by fisherman, previous finds include historic coins, bronze and lead artefacts and a cannon ball which was thought to have been fired by one of Oliver Cromwell’s ships in 1651 in an attack on either Easthaven or the Earl of Panmure and his men who would have mounted a defence against the enemy.

Wendy Murray added: “Wendy added: “The fishermen in Easthaven were renowned for collecting items that had been left behind and we have seen lots of historic artefacts found in the village.”