Ancient Monuments

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Gouk Stone, standing stone

A Scheduled Monument in Dyce/Bucksburn/Danestone, Aberdeen City

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Coordinates

Latitude: 57.2269 / 57°13'37"N

Longitude: -2.2757 / 2°16'32"W

OS Eastings: 383450

OS Northings: 815168

OS Grid: NJ834151

Mapcode National: GBR XG.0FNW

Mapcode Global: WH9Q8.0ML3

Entry Name: Gouk Stone, standing stone

Scheduled Date: 26 September 2008

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM12345

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric ritual and funerary: standing stone

Location: Dyce

County: Aberdeen City

Electoral Ward: Dyce/Bucksburn/Danestone

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire

Description

The monument comprises a large single standing stone likely to date to the late Neolithic or Bronze Age. It survives as an upstanding monolith incorporated into a broadly E- to W-running stone dyke that separates two cultivated fields. The standing stone is located SSW of Hatton of Fintray, at around 75m above sea level on N-facing, gently sloping ground above the southern river terrace of the River Don.

The earthfast granite boulder measures approximately 3m high by 1.3m wide and 1m broad. It tapers inwards from its base towards its top where it is roughly conical shaped. All surfaces show signs of lichen and some moss growth and there is no sign of surface delamination (loss of stone). The dyke has partially collapsed where it joins both sides of the standing stone and this may have helped to seal below-ground archaeological deposits.

The area to be scheduled is circular on plan, centred on the stone, 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. Specifically excluded from this scheduling to allow for their maintenance are the above-ground elements of the adjoining stone dyke and a post-and-wire fence that runs parallel to the standing stone and stone dyke on the south.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

Cultural Significance

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

Intrinsic characteristics

This impressively large, well-preserved single standing stone survives in an upstanding form and there is no evidence for disturbance of its original setting. It therefore has the potential to tell us more about the circumstances and details of its erection. Where subsurface deposits, such as burials or associated finds, are present, these can tell us more about the circumstances of its use. Dating evidence may survive and this could help us understand the chronology of these monuments in the prehistoric landscape of Strathdon.

Contextual characteristics

This is a well-preserved and large example of its class, one of the largest in the area. Along with the 50 or so examples in Strathdon, it represents the extensive colonisation of this river system during the late Neolithic and Bronze Age. Researchers think that these monuments had significance not just for the ceremony and ritual that took place at them, but also for their position in the landscape, part of a network or wider 'map' of similar monuments. Its location appears to be deliberate, taking advantage of views of the River Don to the north (and vice-versa) and in the proximity of a dense concentration of broadly contemporary monuments around Blue Hill and Tyrebagger Hill, such as further standing stones, along with burial cairns, hut circles and possible agricultural remains.

Associative characteristics

The late 18th-century Statistical Account suggests that the stone's name, the 'Gouk Stone', refers to General Gouch who was killed nearby. The name continues in use on the modern mapping of the area.

National Importance

The monument is of national importance because it has an inherent potential to make a significant contribution to our understanding of the past, in particular the use of prehistoric standing stones and the role they played in prehistoric life and death. There is good potential for the survival of archaeological evidence relating to its construction and this, along with its prominent landscape position in Strathdon, can help us understand the significance of standing stones individually and as part of wider prehistoric landscapes. The loss of the monument would impede our ability to understand the development of late-Neolithic and Bronze-Age communities in NE Scotland.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Sources

Bibliography

RCAHMS records the monument as NJ81NW 20. Aberdeen City Council SMR records the monument as NJ81NW 0020.

References:

RCAHMS 2007, IN THE SHADOW OF BENNACHIE: THE FIELD ARCHAEOLOGY OF DONSIDE, ABERDEENSHIRE, Edinburgh: Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.

NSA 1845, THE NEW STATISTICAL ACCOUNT OF SCOTLAND BY THE MINISTERS OF THE RESPECTIVE PARISHES UNDER THE SUPERINTENDENCE OF A COMMITTEE OF THE SOCIETY FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF THE CLERGY, Edinburgh. 15v, Vol. 12, 122.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Other nearby scheduled monuments

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