The Big Dig 2019

The Big Dig 2019 is an eight-week archaeological dig which hopes to uncover the mystery of the underground treasure that is Paisley's medieval Abbey Drain!

The Big Dig 2019

About The Big Dig 2019

The Big Dig 2019 is an eight-week archaeological dig (May 21 – July 21) trying to find out if, how and where this unique structure once met the River Cart.

The findings will shape potential future development of this hidden gem as part of the wider regeneration of Paisley town centre.

Paisley’s Abbey Drain is an ornate underground passageway, around 100m long and believed to be more than 700 years old, which was discovered in the 19th century and rediscovered in the 1990s.

The intricate underground structure is believed to have carried material from Paisley’s 850-year-old Abbey to the nearby River Cart – but no one has ever established where and how it met the river.

Previous archaeological digs have revealed carved slates featuring the earliest written polyphonic music – and largest collection of medieval pottery – ever found in Scotland.

Community activity planned for during the Big Dig will include a series of short films and a documentary made by students from the University of the West of Scotland, school visits, volunteering opportunities, and free talks and workshops for the general public.

We’ll have more details about these activities soon … watch this space!

The drain itself won’t be accessible to the public during the dig – but there will be a chance for you to go inside it, as in previous years, during Doors Open Days in September.

Funding partners for The Big Dig 2019 include The National Lottery Heritage Fund in Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland and Renfrewshire Local History Forum.

While we take every opportunity to ensure the details for The Big Dig 2019 are accurate, we always advise that you contact the event organiser before setting out for the event to avoid disapointment.

Other Events at Paisley Abbey

Guided Tours of Paisley Abbey

Guided Tours of Paisley Abbey

22nd October 2019
Built in the 12th century and steeped in history, Paisley Abbey is a fascinating building to visit, find out more on one of the regular guided tours!
Guided Tours of Paisley Abbey

Guided Tours of Paisley Abbey

24th October 2019
Built in the 12th century and steeped in history, Paisley Abbey is a fascinating building to visit, find out more on one of the regular guided tours!
Guided Tours of Paisley Abbey

Guided Tours of Paisley Abbey

29th October 2019
Built in the 12th century and steeped in history, Paisley Abbey is a fascinating building to visit, find out more on one of the regular guided tours!
Charity Concert: A Glimpse of Heaven performed by Masterworks Chorale

Charity Concert: A Glimpse of Heaven performed by Masterworks Chorale

31st October 2019
Internationally acclaimed UK choir Masterworks Chorale are bringing their A Glimpse of Heaven tour to Paisley Abbey on October 31st!
Guided Tours of Paisley Abbey

Guided Tours of Paisley Abbey

31st October 2019
Built in the 12th century and steeped in history, Paisley Abbey is a fascinating building to visit, find out more on one of the regular guided tours!
Guided Tours of Paisley Abbey

Guided Tours of Paisley Abbey

5th November 2019
Built in the 12th century and steeped in history, Paisley Abbey is a fascinating building to visit, find out more on one of the regular guided tours!
Guided Tours of Paisley Abbey

Guided Tours of Paisley Abbey

7th November 2019
Built in the 12th century and steeped in history, Paisley Abbey is a fascinating building to visit, find out more on one of the regular guided tours!
Guided Tours of Paisley Abbey

Guided Tours of Paisley Abbey

12th November 2019
Built in the 12th century and steeped in history, Paisley Abbey is a fascinating building to visit, find out more on one of the regular guided tours!
Guided Tours of Paisley Abbey

Guided Tours of Paisley Abbey

14th November 2019
Built in the 12th century and steeped in history, Paisley Abbey is a fascinating building to visit, find out more on one of the regular guided tours!
Guided Tours of Paisley Abbey

Guided Tours of Paisley Abbey

19th November 2019
Built in the 12th century and steeped in history, Paisley Abbey is a fascinating building to visit, find out more on one of the regular guided tours!
Guided Tours of Paisley Abbey

Guided Tours of Paisley Abbey

21st November 2019
Built in the 12th century and steeped in history, Paisley Abbey is a fascinating building to visit, find out more on one of the regular guided tours!
Guided Tours of Paisley Abbey

Guided Tours of Paisley Abbey

26th November 2019
Built in the 12th century and steeped in history, Paisley Abbey is a fascinating building to visit, find out more on one of the regular guided tours!
Guided Tours of Paisley Abbey

Guided Tours of Paisley Abbey

28th November 2019
Built in the 12th century and steeped in history, Paisley Abbey is a fascinating building to visit, find out more on one of the regular guided tours!
Guided Tours of Paisley Abbey

Guided Tours of Paisley Abbey

3rd December 2019
Built in the 12th century and steeped in history, Paisley Abbey is a fascinating building to visit, find out more on one of the regular guided tours!
Guided Tours of Paisley Abbey

Guided Tours of Paisley Abbey

5th December 2019
Built in the 12th century and steeped in history, Paisley Abbey is a fascinating building to visit, find out more on one of the regular guided tours!
Guided Tours of Paisley Abbey

Guided Tours of Paisley Abbey

10th December 2019
Built in the 12th century and steeped in history, Paisley Abbey is a fascinating building to visit, find out more on one of the regular guided tours!
Guided Tours of Paisley Abbey

Guided Tours of Paisley Abbey

12th December 2019
Built in the 12th century and steeped in history, Paisley Abbey is a fascinating building to visit, find out more on one of the regular guided tours!
Guided Tours of Paisley Abbey

Guided Tours of Paisley Abbey

17th December 2019
Built in the 12th century and steeped in history, Paisley Abbey is a fascinating building to visit, find out more on one of the regular guided tours!
Guided Tours of Paisley Abbey

Guided Tours of Paisley Abbey

19th December 2019
Built in the 12th century and steeped in history, Paisley Abbey is a fascinating building to visit, find out more on one of the regular guided tours!

History Events you might like...

Guided Tours of Paisley Abbey
Guided Tours of Paisley Abbey
22nd October 2019
Paisley Abbey, Paisley
Built in the 12th century and steeped in history, Paisley Abbey is a fascinating building to visit, find out more on one of the regular guided tours!
Urban Historian History Talks
Urban Historian History Talks
23rd October 2019
Abbeymill Business Centre, Paisley
Join the Urban Historian, Stephen Clancy, for his regular programme of Wednesday night History Talks at Mile End Mill, Abbey Mill Business Centre!
Guided Tours of Paisley Abbey
Guided Tours of Paisley Abbey
24th October 2019
Paisley Abbey, Paisley
Built in the 12th century and steeped in history, Paisley Abbey is a fascinating building to visit, find out more on one of the regular guided tours!
Find History events in Renfrewshire

Community Events you might like...

Free Epilepsy Information Event
Free Epilepsy Information Event
21st October 2019
Abbeymill Business Centre, Paisley
Epilepsy Scotland are hosting a free information event at Abbey Mill Business Centre, Paisley on October 21st for anyone affected by epilepsy or anyone who wants to find out more about epilepsy.
Paisley Halloween Festival
Paisley Halloween Festival
25th Oct 2019 - 26th Oct 2019
NA, Paisley
Roll up, roll up! Immerse yourself in the weird and wonderful world of Dark Circus at the Paisley Halloween Festival on Friday 25th and Saturday 26th October!
Paisley Fireworks Spectacular
Paisley Fireworks Spectacular
2nd November 2019
NA, Paisley
Renfrewshire's annual fireworks extravaganza will be back in Paisley town centre for another year on Saturday 2nd November!
Find Community events in Renfrewshire

Family and Kids Events you might like...

Free Epilepsy Information Event
Free Epilepsy Information Event
21st October 2019
Abbeymill Business Centre, Paisley
Epilepsy Scotland are hosting a free information event at Abbey Mill Business Centre, Paisley on October 21st for anyone affected by epilepsy or anyone who wants to find out more about epilepsy.
Renfrewshire Bookbug Sessions
Renfrewshire Bookbug Sessions
21st October 2019
NA, Various Locations Renfrewshire
Free, fun and fantastic! Renfrewshire Libraries run several interactive song, rhyme and story Bookbug sessions throughout the week!
Renfrewshire Bookbug Sessions
Renfrewshire Bookbug Sessions
22nd October 2019
NA, Various Locations Renfrewshire
Free, fun and fantastic! Renfrewshire Libraries run several interactive song, rhyme and story Bookbug sessions throughout the week!
Find Family and Kids events in Renfrewshire

Find other events in Renfrewshire

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Popular Events

Paisley Halloween Festival
Roll up, roll up! Immerse yourself in the weird and wonderful world of Dark Circus at the Paisley Halloween Festival on Friday 25th and Saturday 26th October!
Inverclyde Fireworks
Celebrate Guy Fawkes night safely with a bang at Inverclyde's Fireworks Display at Battery Park, Greenock on Saturday 2nd November!
Paisley Fireworks Spectacular
Renfrewshire's annual fireworks extravaganza will be back in Paisley town centre for another year on Saturday 2nd November!
SWA Family Wrestling Paisley
SWA return to Paisley's Lagoon Centre on Friday 15th November with another action packed night of wrestling!
Santa and the Snow
Back for another White Christmas, Santa And The Snow will take your child on a journey through Elf School, Santa’s Workshop, Meeting Santa himself and a custom built Snow Play Area!

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