Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Gowk Stane, standing stone 80m WSW of Craigconnack

A Scheduled Monument in West Garioch, Aberdeenshire

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Latitude: 57.3207 / 57°19'14"N

Longitude: -2.5385 / 2°32'18"W

OS Eastings: 367664

OS Northings: 825703

OS Grid: NJ676257

Mapcode National: GBR N92C.RSK

Mapcode Global: WH8NL.Z8B6

Entry Name: Gowk Stane, standing stone 80m WSW of Craigconnack

Scheduled Date: 19 December 2007

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM12107

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric ritual and funerary: standing stone

Location: Oyne

County: Aberdeenshire

Electoral Ward: West Garioch

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire


The monument comprises a single, large upstanding monolith of likely Neolithic or Bronze-Age date, known locally as the Gowk Stane. It occupies a position approximately 135m above sea level on the crown of Max Hill, in an area of pasture.

The earthfast whinstone measures around 1.2m square in section and around 2.1m in height, with a maximum girth of around 3.5m.

The area to be scheduled is a circle on plan centred on the stone, to include the remains described and an area around within which evidence relating to its construction and use may 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 it was erected in prehistory. Buried deposits are likely to survive in the immediate area as evidenced by the number of packing stones now visible at the base of the monument, although some or all of these may represent attempts to stabilise the boggy area in the recent past. 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 the area, where there has been a long tradition of the erection of standing stones and related monuments, such as stone circles and burial cairns. 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. 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 crown of Max Hill, and commands excellent views in all directions, including the summit of Bennachie to the south. Comparing and contrasting this monument with other examples of its type can give us valuable information on how and why the Neolithic or Bronze-Age peoples of the area placed such monuments in the landscape. This can help us understand Neolithic or 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 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 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 NJ62NE 5. It is recorded in the Aberdeenshire SMR as NJ62NE0005.


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 36, 531-3.

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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