Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Wester Shevock, cairn 385m south of

A Scheduled Monument in West Garioch, Aberdeenshire

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Latitude: 57.3438 / 57°20'37"N

Longitude: -2.559 / 2°33'32"W

OS Eastings: 366456

OS Northings: 828281

OS Grid: NJ664282

Mapcode National: GBR N919.NG7

Mapcode Global: WH8ND.NPN1

Entry Name: Wester Shevock, cairn 385m S of

Scheduled Date: 19 December 2007

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM12115

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric ritual and funerary: cairn (type uncertain)

Location: Oyne

County: Aberdeenshire

Electoral Ward: West Garioch

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire


The monument comprises a Bronze-Age burial cairn. It is situated on a low rise at around 150m above sea level, at the NE end of a ridge overlooking Pitmachie village to the east, and lies in an area of uncultivated scrubland.

The monument comprises a turf-covered mound, measuring around 9m in diameter and standing to a height of around 0.5m.

The area to be scheduled is circular on plan, centred on the top of the cairn, to include the remains described and an area around within which evidence relating to their 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

The monument is visible as an upstanding feature and is a relatively well-preserved example of a Bronze-Age cairn. The area of the monument is covered with scrub and may never have been cultivated, due to the site's topography. The area is shown as woodland on the 1st- and 2nd-editions of the Ordnance Survey map. While the edges of the cairn have become quite indistinct due to the natural spreading of the cairn material, much of the cairn appears intact. This indicates a high potential for the survival of burials beneath the cairn. The cairn is likely to seal a buried land surface and this could provide evidence of the environment during the Bronze Age when the monument was constructed and used. The monument has the potential to further our understanding of Bronze-Age funerary practices, as well as inform our knowledge of the structural features of this type of cairn.

Contextual characteristics

This monument belongs to a diverse group of around 165 surviving prehistoric burial cairns in the Strathdon area. Of these, about half survive as upstanding monuments. This particular example is located on the summit of a hill, and not only has strong views in all directions, but also has a clear view of the small cairns at Brownhills (RCAHMS reference: NJ62NE67) to the south-west. Spatial analysis of this cairn and other burial sites may further our understanding of funerary site location, the structure of society and the Bronze-Age economy.

National Importance

This monument is of national importance because it has an inherent potential to contribute to an understanding of the past, in particular Bronze-Age burial architecture and practice. It also fits into a distinctive pattern of prehistoric burial and settlement in the Strathdon area. Skeletal remains and artefacts from such burials have the potential to tell us about wider prehistoric society, how people lived, where they came from and who they had contact with. The old ground surface sealed by the monument has the potential to provide information about what the contemporary environment looked like and how the prehistoric peoples who interred their dead here managed the surrounding landscape. The loss of this monument would impede our ability to understand the placing of such monuments within the landscape, as well as our knowledge of Bronze-Age social structure and economy.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS record the site as NJ62NE 46. It is recorded in the Aberdeenshire Council SMR as NJ62NE0043.


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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