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Hill of Bandodle, farmstead 210m SSE of

A Scheduled Monument in Westhill and District, Aberdeenshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 57.1487 / 57°8'55"N

Longitude: -2.5641 / 2°33'50"W

OS Eastings: 365968

OS Northings: 806563

OS Grid: NJ659065

Mapcode National: GBR X0.BFCT

Mapcode Global: WH8PC.LL73

Entry Name: Hill of Bandodle, farmstead 210m SSE of

Scheduled Date: 19 December 2007

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM12124

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Secular: domestic buildings

Location: Midmar

County: Aberdeenshire

Electoral Ward: Westhill and District

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire

Description

The monument comprises the remains of a pre-Improvement, potentially earlier, farmstead surviving as a well-preserved set of earthworks, specifically two round-ended buildings, a turf bank, four clearance cairns and an associated field system. The site is located around 100m NE of the summit of Bandodle, in the south of Strathdon, at an altitude of around 255m above sea level.

Two small round-ended buildings lie about 15m apart. The NE of the two measures 11m N-S by 6m transversely. Its walls are now reduced to grass-grown stony banks around 1.4m in thickness and 0.2m in height. No entrance can be traced for this building, but a faint depression can be seen extending around the exterior. The second building is located to the SW. It is of a similar appearance, measuring around 11m N-S by 6.5m transversely. Its walls are also reduced to grass-grown stony banks, measuring around 1.6m in thickness and 0.3m in height. A low bank extends E from a point on the fence line west of the SW building, and disappears into a gorse thicket to the south of the NE building. Four small cairns are located in the vicinity. Of these, the example located between the two buildings, around 7m east of the SW building and 6m south-south-west of the NE building, appears to be surrounded by a shallow ditch. The cairn itself measures around 3.4m diameter and is around 0.3m in height.

The area to be scheduled is irregular on plan 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. The scheduling specifically excludes the above-ground elements of all fence lines within the scheduled area, to allow for their maintenance.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

Cultural Significance

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

Intrinsic characteristics

The level of preservation of this site is excellent for its class, as round-ended buildings rarely survive to such a degree. The presence of round-ended turf-built structures suggests that the site may have a late-medieval origin. The associated clearance cairns on the site suggest that it has not been cultivated for some time, hence its survival. At least one phase of enclosure also bounds the buildings. The associated rig-and-furrow field system presents an excellent opportunity to analyse farming practices of this period, and the relationship of these remains to the farmstead itself. The excellent survival of the surface remains also suggests an extremely high potential for extensive buried deposits to survive as well. Such deposits could not only inform about the construction, use and abandonment of turf-built structures and the associated remains on this site, but also inform our understanding of similar sites of this class and period.

Contextual characteristics

Well-preserved, round-ended houses are relatively rare, as is the survival of undisturbed pre-Improvement farmsteads in this part of Scotland. The site does not appear, even in ruined form, on the OS 1st edition maps of the mid-19th century. This, together with the distinctive form of houses, may suggest an early, possibly late-medieval, origin. The monument itself has commanding views in all directions, and especially to the east, north and west. Further prehistoric remains also exist on the hill, including two Bronze- or Iron-Age hut circles, which together presents an important opportunity to assess the changing occupation of this area over thousands of years.

National Importance

This monument is of national importance because it has an inherent potential to contribute to our understanding of the past, in particular pre-Improvement farming settlements. Turf-built structures possibly from the late-medieval period are extremely rare in this area and this example represents an important opportunity for informing our knowledge of them. Buried deposits from such sites have the potential to tell us about wider society at the time, how people lived, where they came from and who they had contact with. Its loss would impede our ability to understand the use of such monuments, their placing within the pre-Improvement landscape, and the social structure and economy of the time.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Sources

Bibliography

RCAHMS record the site as NJ60NE143. It is recorded in the Aberdeenshire Council SMR as NJ60NE0016.

References:

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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