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Re: Castle at the Cross

Michael Pincus responds:
Very interesting data. I would be interested
in financing a proper excavation of the site
by a trained and credentialed archaeologist
or historian, as well as a proper film shoot.
If interested please email to me. Only hitch
is that I and my daughter would insist on being
able to get ourselves dirty, and help as amatuer
assistents. Come back! MSP

Ramsey-Styer, Darwin wrote:
> Dear Margaret,
> Thank you so much for clarifying this.  I am new to this list (last
> Friday, 4-17-98) and really appreciate the explanation.  I am an
> archaeologist, as well as a Sinclair, and I truly believe in checking my
> facts.  I have had a great deal of trouble believing anything that has
> been stated before concerning the exploration of the New World and the
> Sinclair involvement because of the lack of documented sources.
> (However, all of this undocumented dribble is coming from only one or
> two people that don't believe in footnotes.)
>   I have been an archaeologist for the last 13 years, I have both a BA
> and an MA in anthropology (focus in Southeastern Archaeology), and write
> archaeological reports on a daily basis.  In all of my work, if I had
> ever stated a fact without citing the original reference I would have
> failed (if in school) or been laughed out of professional meetings.
> However, even though I am a professional, that doesn't mean avocational
> historians and archaeologists can not document their own work as well.
> I have attended many presentations by amateur historians and
> archaeologists that are equally as good as anything by trained
> professionals.  Documentation is not difficult and can make all the
> difference in whether or not a work is useful...  Thank you so much for
> supplying the reference to Michael Bradley's book.  I will be sure to
> find and refer to it for further research.
> As to influencing the Nova Scotian government to increase their
> preservation efforts... I am not sure we can do anything.  If a site is
> on private property, in the US,  we have no legal recourse to preserve
> it.  I would suspect the laws are very similar in Nova Scotia.  However,
> it might be possible to contact various preservation groups and
> societies within Nova Scotia.  Many of these groups have educational
> programs designed to increase the public awareness of the need for
> preservation, trained excavators, and scientific excavation.  Once the
> general public is educated and interested in the cause, it becomes
> easier to influence the government as well as private land owners.
> However, I would be surprised if it didn't take quite a long time.  I am
> heavily involved with the professional archaeology society here as well
> as the avocational group.  We work constantly to educate the public and
> yet I am asked on almost a daily basis what neat dinosaurs I have found
> lately.  Still, I keep at it hoping someday to make and impression.
>                                         Sincerely,
>                                         Darwin Ramsey
>  ----------
> From: Margaret Rintoul/Neil Sinclair
> To: sinclair@zilker.net
> Subject: Re: Castle at the Cross
> Date: Friday, April 17, 1998 3:28PM
> Dear John and Michael;
> "THe Sinclair Castle" at the cross Nova Scotia needs to be
> introduced to some of our clan. For Sinclairs that are
> interested in the Sinclair expedition this site is initially
> mentioned in Michael Bradley's book Holy Grail Across the
> Atlantic, Honslow Press 1988. In this book it was put
> forward that there was a settlement created which became the
> Castle at the Cross in the middle of Nova Scotia by Henry
> Sinclair and the site has received some mention in his other
> books and other writings of the expedition...
> I visited the site which is on private lands in 1996 and
> there is little evidence remaining of any edifices but what
> what there was became certainly significant. I saw physical
> remains of a well, and stone foundations that were certainly
> old. It was not a castle in the sense that we would think of
> castles. Anything built and referred to as a castle in 1398
> or so referred to more correctly to a building or buildings
> that could be fortified but really used as habitation. There
> may have been a buildings that were constructed but from eye
> level one did not see a huge area being involved. However in
> my uneducated eye it was very old, located on a height of
> land and in the middle of Nova Scotia between the Bay of
> Fundy and the Atlantic. It was a logical site for an old
> habitation and certainly far removed from water access. That
> sid some backyard digging had occurred. I had the
> opportunity to write the owner and speak to them with the
> following advice;
> First that the site should be closed and left as is until
> experts could be found to properly conduct an examination. I
> further urged that while the site was interesting and
> controversial (there are many skeptics) it should receive
> proper designation as an historical site. Again the property
> is on private lands and no site preservation was undertaken
> from day one. To make matters worse there was speculation as
> how to make money from the site and should anything be of
> historical interest then the worst one could do would be to
> commercialize it with no evidence of what existed. I would
> add that the Government of Nova Scotia is not only short
> sited on historical matters but when it came to historical
> preservation it was grossly negligent. I only hope the site
> is "preserved" and not dug up until a proper archeological
> study can be made. The lead of Clan Sinclair in Nova Scotia
> may have some more insights.
> I also have no insight whether the site is still rapidly
> found. It was known to locals and was the very dickens to
> find from any published material and it was not on the
> historical sites being stuck in the middle of nowhere. If
> you are interested in the NS Sinclair Historical tour you
> may want to check out another travesty to historical
> preservation, Oak Island. While I have satisfied myself that
> Henry Sinclair did not bury any treasure there this site is
> one of the most significant mysteries on the eastern
> seaboard and should have been preserved from an historical
> perspective, and again the people of Nova Scotia and their
> government let that site get destroyed too with no care or
> preservation of artifacts no study of any kind and a
> terrible treasure hunt that turned up nothing. What I did
> leave this site with is a curiosity as to how Red Oaks came
> into the region. Planted from 1398? Again no studies and
> hence only books of speculation.
> If anyone is following the History in Nova Scotia this
> summer a couple of spots are interesting and worth visiting.
> Louisburg has plaques suggesting that Prince Henry landed
> there, and the cannon mentioned in Sinclairs book are there
> mostly replicated but they did exist. Of most historical
> interest is that the Basques had been visiting Nova Scotia
> well before 1400 for the Fish and the Grand Banks. I would
> not be surprised if others did as well. This area as a
> fishing destination was not a surprise to every European. By
> the way of interest, Guysbouough NS has also laid some plans
> for significant celebrations and the most recent published
> history of Nova Scotia by Lesley Choyce does mention the
> Henry expedition as historical fact.
> Hope this helps. Because this network runs on shared
> information is it helpful for all of us, if some background
> is put forward when making an inquiry so we may all be
> educated at the same time.
> Keep up the fine work, it is a most interesting
> communication network of clansmen.
> Neil Sinclair, Toronto
> Descendant of Argyll Scotland
> Michael Pincus wrote:
> > Michael Pincus responds:
> > Please fill me in. Is there a sight here I missed?
> > Thank you, MSP
> >
> > John Duguid wrote:
> > >
> > > Does anyone out there have any recent information on the
> > Sinclair "Castle at
> > > the Cross" in Nova Scotia. The last I heard there was
> > talk of carrying out some
> > > excavations to ascertain whether or not the structure
> > could be dated to the
> > > visit of Prince Henry in 1398.
> > >
> > > John Duguid