Ancient Monuments

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Sawmill Cottages, standing stone 285m SSE of, Heather Hill

A Scheduled Monument in Westhill and District, Aberdeenshire

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Latitude: 57.1649 / 57°9'53"N

Longitude: -2.3922 / 2°23'31"W

OS Eastings: 376380

OS Northings: 808297

OS Grid: NJ763082

Mapcode National: GBR X7.VJVS

Mapcode Global: WH8PG.754M

Entry Name: Sawmill Cottages, standing stone 285m SSE of, Heather Hill

Scheduled Date: 21 February 2008

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM12111

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric ritual and funerary: standing stone

Location: Echt

County: Aberdeenshire

Electoral Ward: Westhill and District

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire


The monument comprises a single monolith of likely Neolithic or Bronze-Age date. The stone occupies a N-facing position on the side of Heather Hill at around 105m above sea level, and in an area of heather moorland.

The granite stone measures 0.7m in breadth E-W and around 0.45m transversely, rising to a narrow top around 1.2m in height. A large chocking stone is located at the base of the S side, and a smaller one at the base of the N side.

The area to be scheduled is a circle centred on the centre of 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. 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.

This monument 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. In the near-absence of evidence for Neolithic or early Bronze-Age settlement sites in the area, standing stones are one of the prime archaeological sources for an understanding of society during this period. 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 a N-facing slope on Heather Hill, and has extensive views to the north. 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. This can help us understand Neolithic and 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 Neolithic and Bronze-Age ritual sites within the landscape. The loss of the monument would impede our understanding of the placing of such monuments and the nature and purpose of their construction and use.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS record the site as NJ70NE 159.


RCAHMS 2007, IN THE SHADOW OF BENNACHIE: THE FIELD ARCHAEOLOGY OF DONSIDE, ABERDEENSHIRE, Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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