Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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East Blairbowie, standing stone 250m ENE of

A Scheduled Monument in West Garioch, Aberdeenshire

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Latitude: 57.2956 / 57°17'43"N

Longitude: -2.4495 / 2°26'58"W

OS Eastings: 373007

OS Northings: 822861

OS Grid: NJ730228

Mapcode National: GBR X5.1X9N

Mapcode Global: WH8NN.BWTJ

Entry Name: East Blairbowie, standing stone 250m ENE of

Scheduled Date: 19 December 2007

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM12110

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric ritual and funerary: standing stone

Location: Chapel Of Garioch

County: Aberdeenshire

Electoral Ward: West Garioch

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire


The monument comprises a single standing stone of likely Neolithic or Bronze-Age date. The stone is located on the grass verge between a minor public road and the fence line, at a height of around 130m above sea level. Mr Alex Allan of Netherton of Balquhain found an urn around 50m NE of the stone in 1846.

The stone measures around 0.6m in breadth by 0.6m in thickness, and rises to a pointed top at a height of around 1.2m.

The area to be scheduled is a cropped circle centred on the stone, to include the remains described and an area around where there is potential for further archaeological remains related to the stone's use and erection to survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map. The scheduled area runs up to but excludes the road and the fence.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

Cultural Significance

The monument's cultural significance can be expressed as follows:

Intrinsic characteristics

This is a prominent standing stone that apparently still stands where people erected it in prehistory. Buried deposits are likely to survive in the immediate area. Such deposits may also give us valuable information about the purpose of the monument, the people who created and used it, the methods used in its creation, dating evidence for its erection, and for any later activity associated with the stone.

Contextual characteristics.

The monument is a good representative of a widespread class. It has the potential to contribute to a better understanding of standing stones, particularly those of the Strathdon area. This example is one of an extensive number in Strathdon, where there has been a long tradition of the erection of standing stones and related monuments, such as stone circles and burial cairns and the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland has noted that the distribution of lone standing stones largely reflects the distribution of burial cairns, suggesting a link between the two. The discovery of an urn nearby in 1846 suggests that this stone may represent the surviving element of a focal point for rituals and/or burials. This not only suggests a preference for settlement in the area in prehistory, but also provides us with an extremely important opportunity to assess the distribution and relationships of such sites. Due to the near-absence of evidence for settlement sites from the Neolithic or early Bronze Age in the Strathdon area, standing stones such as this are one of the main sources for archaeology to enhance understanding of the period and its socio-economic structure. The position of such monuments in the landscape is an apparently important factor in their location, as is their connection to other similar monuments. This particular example stands on the N-facing slope of the Hill of Blairbowie, and has views of the summits of Bennachie. Comparing and contrasting this monument with other examples of its type can give us valuable information on how and why the Neolithic and Bronze-Age peoples of the area placed such monuments in the landscape. This can help us understand Neolithic and Bronze-Age ritual monuments throughout Scotland, as well as in the Strathdon region.

National importance

The monument is of national importance because it has an inherent potential to contribute to the understanding of the past, in particular Neolithic or Bronze-Age standing stones and the part they played in ritual beliefs and practices. Spatial analysis of this and other contemporary monuments may reveal valuable information on the layout and patterns of Neolithic or Bronze-Age ritual sites within the landscape. The loss of the monument would impede our understanding of the placing of such monuments within the landscape and the nature and purpose of their erection and use.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS record the site as NJ72SW 195.


RCAHMS 2007, IN THE SHADOW OF BENNACHIE: THE FIELD ARCHAEOLOGY OF DONSIDE, ABERDEENSHIRE, Edinburgh: Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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