Glasgow University Centre for Battlefield Archaeology

Glasgow University Centre for Battlefield Archaeology

This former TreadRight project supported The University of Glasgow's Centre for Battlefield Archaeology, exploring the previously un-investigated battlefield at Cambuskenneth Abbey.


There had never been a full scientific investigation of Scotland’s Cambuskenneth Abbey, despite the site’s historical significance as the location for the Scottish Parliament in the Medieval period, and its involvement in conflicts including the Battle of Bannockburn, one of the most important battles in the first war of Scottish Independence.

In 2012, the University of Glasgow’s Centre for Battlefield Archaeology (CBA) explored Scotland’s Cambuskenneth Abbey, investigating and excavating the surroundings of the Abbey. The results aimed to help piece together the story surrounding the site and create an enhanced visitor experience at Cambuskenneth.


TreadRight supported CBA’s investigation into WWI trenches in Europe to uncover physical remains that would paint a picture of what life was really like for soldiers in the trenches.

Research indicated that the location was used to hide a top secret British WWI weapon, known as the Livens Flame Projector. The weapon, which was effectively a large flame thrower designed to “throw” large drums filled with flammable or toxic chemicals, was believed to have been delivered to the site just before a bombardment destroyed key parts of it, leaving it out of action before it could be installed. Evidence of the weapon had previously been restricted to photographs and documents, rather than any physical remains.

With TreadRight’s support, surface work began to create a picture of daily life in the trenches while excavation of the subterranean features revealed several pieces of the destroyed secret Livens Flame Projector. These remnants are now on display in the local museum.


This project contributed to preserving the cultural and natural heritage of Scotland’s Cambuskenneth Abbey.

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