Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Newton of Lewesk, enclosure 165m ESE of

A Scheduled Monument in West Garioch, Aberdeenshire

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Latitude: 57.3407 / 57°20'26"N

Longitude: -2.5087 / 2°30'31"W

OS Eastings: 369479

OS Northings: 827914

OS Grid: NJ694279

Mapcode National: GBR N95B.1FB

Mapcode Global: WH8NF.FRMD

Entry Name: Newton of Lewesk, enclosure 165m ESE of

Scheduled Date: 7 February 2008

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM12137

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: enclosure (domestic or defensive)

Location: Rayne

County: Aberdeenshire

Electoral Ward: West Garioch

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire


The monument comprises a rectilinear enclosure, with some evidence for a second similar enclosure slightly offset from the first. The monument is of likely late-prehistoric or early-historic date, surviving as a buried, cropmarked feature and visible on aerial photographs. It lies on the S slope of an unnamed hill at around 120m above sea level, in an area of cultivated land. The enclosure lies around 700m west of the Law and around 800m north-north-west of the approximate centre of the Roman camp at Logie Durno.

The enclosure measures around 80m ENE-WSW by around 60m transversely within a ditch of around 2m width. Entrances are visible midway along the N and S sides of the enclosure. A possible second enclosure of similar dimensions and layout but offset around 15m to the north-west from the first is visible on some aerial photographs. No internal features are readily apparent within the enclosures, aside from the presence of some furrow marks, widely spaced and aligned NNW-SSE. The relationship of these furrows to the enclosure is unknown, but likely to be much later.

The area to be scheduled is rectangular on plan, to include the remains described and an area around them within which related material may be expected to be found, 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 survives as a negative feature clearly visible on aerial photographs. The potential for survival of buried deposits on the site is extremely high as the land is currently used for grassland and does not appear to have been ploughed in recent times. The monument has good potential to reveal information about the later prehistoric or early-historic domestic and/or ritual activities of the area. The possible evidence for multiple phases of construction and occupation on the site presents the opportunity to assess the transition between two similar monuments on the same site and the relationship between the two phases.

Contextual characteristics

This monument belongs to a previously common group of enclosures that are now very rare in the Strathdon region. This rarity makes it difficult to establish a coherent pattern or classification for these remains in the area and underlines the value of any surviving examples. This particular example is located on a hill with good views in all directions, suggesting a possible defensive purpose. This monument is in fact unique in form in the area and its location may indicate connections with a Pictish stone found in an adjacent field in the 1950s and/or with the Roman temporary camp at Durno, which lies in close proximity. Further study of the site may give more evidence for the nature of any associations.

National Importance

The monument is of national importance because it has an inherent potential to make a significant addition to the understanding of the past, in particular enclosures and settlement patterns from the late prehistoric/early-historic period. Buried deposits from such sites have the potential to tell us not only about the physical layout of this site but also about wider society at the time, how people lived, where they came from and who they had contact with. The loss of the monument would affect our future ability to interpret and understand a rare type of monument for this area, its use, the placing of such sites within the contemporary landscape and the social and economic situation at the time.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS record the monument as NJ62NE 37. It is recorded in the Aberdeenshire SMR as NJ62NE0024.


Shepherd I A G 1979, EARLY GRAMPIAN, Aberdeen, 3-5.

Shepherd I A G and Greig M K 1996, GRAMPIAN'S PAST: ITS ARCHAEOLOGY FROM THE AIR, Aberdeen, 51.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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