Ancient Monuments

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The Hedges, enclosure 480m south of

A Scheduled Monument in East Garioch, Aberdeenshire

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Latitude: 57.2323 / 57°13'56"N

Longitude: -2.3182 / 2°19'5"W

OS Eastings: 380888

OS Northings: 815770

OS Grid: NJ808157

Mapcode National: GBR XC.H3WP

Mapcode Global: WH8P3.CHB1

Entry Name: The Hedges, enclosure 480m S of

Scheduled Date: 20 February 2009

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM12438

Schedule Class: Cultural

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

Location: Fintray

County: Aberdeenshire

Electoral Ward: East Garioch

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire


The monument comprises the remains of a later prehistoric enclosed settlement. Visible in cropmarks on aerial photographs, trial trenching has demonstrated the survival of the perimeter ditch and at least one roundhouse. The monument lies in low-lying arable land at around 55m above sea level, on a rise on the N flank of Strathdon.

The monument is broadly circular in shape and measures approximately 27m in diameter. The enclosure ditch has been shown by excavation to be 1 to 1.5m wide and up to 1m deep. There are entrance breaks on the west and north-east. The archaeological excavations in 2005 show that the internal roundhouse has a sunken floor. Other features identified by excavation include an area of burning and two pits.

The area to be scheduled is irregular in plan, centred on the cropmark, 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 extract.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

Cultural Significance

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

Intrinsic characteristics

As a plough-truncated monument visible in cropmarks on aerial photographs, the enclosure is a good example of an enclosed settlement site, shown by excavation to date to the Iron Age, surviving in an area of agricultural activity. Although the enclosure has been cultivated, limited excavation has shown that evidence relating to domestic structures may be preserved as buried deposits inside the enclosure. Excavation also showed that the ditch appeared to be recut at least twice, suggesting that the monument had been occupied over a long period. The ditch is likely to contain archaeological deposits that can tell us about the economy of the inhabitants of the enclosure, the date at which the enclosure was constructed, used and abandoned, and the environment in which the enclosure was built.

Contextual characteristics

The monument commands views along and across Strathdon. It has the capacity to contribute towards a better understanding of enclosed settlements. Comparing and contrasting the enclosure to other examples both nearby and within the wider area can enable an understanding of how such sites are positioned within the landscape, as well as provide enhanced contexts for the Iron-Age economy and structure of society. This potential is enhanced by the site's proximity to Suttie enclosure (NJ81NW38.02), which may have been occupied contemporaneously. Information gained from the preservation and study of this site can be used to gain an insight into the wider knowledge of Iron-Age enclosed settlement across Scotland.

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, a type of monument that characterises the wider Iron-Age domestic landscape. Domestic remains and artefacts from settlements have the potential to tell us not only about wider prehistoric society, but also its architecture, how people lived, where they came from and who they had contacts with. Archaeological deposits preserved within the ditch and interior of the monument may provide information about what the contemporary environment looked like and how it was being managed by the prehistoric farmers who lived here. Its loss would impede our ability to understand the placing of such monuments (particularly those on the flanks of hills and along the sides of valleys) within the landscape both in Strathdon and across Scotland, as well as our knowledge of Iron-Age social structure, economy, and building practices.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NO81NW53, Wester Fintray: Enclosure; Pits; Rig. Aberdeenshire Council SMR records the monument as NJ81NW0031, Wester Fintray: Blades; Cores; Cropmarks; Enclosures; Flints; Pits; Rig & Furrow.


Cook M et al, WESTER FINTRAY, EDINBURGH: Draft report from Kintore Landscape Project.

Cook M et al 2004, 'Kintore Landscape Project (Fintray parish): Mesolithic flint scatter; Neolithic and Bronze Age lithics; metalworking; cairn; cup-marked boulder', DISCOVERY EXCAV SCOT 5, 15-16.

Cook M et al 2005, 'Kintore Landscape Project: Wester Fintray (Fintray parish), Evaluation; test pitting', DISCOVERY EXCAV SCOT 6, 15.


Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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