Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Lang Stane o'Craigearn, standing stone 50m north of Littlewood Cottage

A Scheduled Monument in West Garioch, Aberdeenshire

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Latitude: 57.2244 / 57°13'27"N

Longitude: -2.4589 / 2°27'32"W

OS Eastings: 372386

OS Northings: 814944

OS Grid: NJ723149

Mapcode National: GBR X5.6FKF

Mapcode Global: WH8P1.6PB2

Entry Name: Lang Stane o'Craigearn, standing stone 50m N of Littlewood Cottage

Scheduled Date: 19 December 2007

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM12108

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric ritual and funerary: standing stone

Location: Kemnay

County: Aberdeenshire

Electoral Ward: West Garioch

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire


The monument comprises a single, large monolith of likely late Neolithic or early Bronze-Age date. The stone occupies a position approximately 90m above sea level and lies in a paddock within the grounds of Littlewood Cottage. The monument sits on the crest of a small hill. It is said to be the last surviving remnant of a stone circle but there is no evidence to support this. There is also a potential sunken way around 2m south of the standing stone, running approximately E/W.

The earthfast granite stone measures around 1.15m in breadth NE/SW by approximately 0.65m in thickness, and stands to a height of around 3.5m.

The area to be scheduled is a circle on plan centred on the stone, to include the stone and a surrounding area 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.

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 and may retain evidence for the stone circle this stone was believed to be part of. 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. RCAHMS has noted that the distribution of lone standing stones largely reflects the distribution of burial cairns, suggesting a link between the two. 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 summit of a small hill and has commanding views to the south and west. 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.

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 and 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 and Bronze-Age ritual sites within the landscape. The loss of the monument would impede our understanding of the distribution 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 NJ71SW 1. It is recorded in the Aberdeenshire SMR as NJ71SW0001.


Coles F R 1902, 'Report on stone circles in Aberdeenshire (Inverurie, Eastern Parishes and Insch Districts), with measured plans and drawings, obtained under the Gunning Fellowship', PROC SOC ANTIQ SCOT 35, 196-7.

ORDNANCE SURVEY NAME BOOK (EDINBURGH) 1866, Original Name Books of the Ordnance Survey 45, 36.

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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