Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Home Farm Cottage, cairn 325m north of

A Scheduled Monument in Mid Formartine, Aberdeenshire

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Latitude: 57.2393 / 57°14'21"N

Longitude: -2.0894 / 2°5'21"W

OS Eastings: 394703

OS Northings: 816514

OS Grid: NJ947165

Mapcode National: GBR XQ.SNJG

Mapcode Global: WH9QB.W97M

Entry Name: Home Farm Cottage, cairn 325m N of

Scheduled Date: 20 February 2009

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM12433

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric ritual and funerary: cairn (type uncertain)

Location: Belhelvie

County: Aberdeenshire

Electoral Ward: Mid Formartine

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire


The monument comprises the remains of a cairn of probable neolithic or Bronze-Age date. It survives as a stony mound built on top of a natural knoll, at around 55m above sea level.

The monument measures 15m from N to S by 11.2m transversely and stands about 2.3m high. The edge on the N, W and S is defined by a fence and on the E by the modern road, which has slightly clipped the sub-circular cairn.

The area to be scheduled is irregular in 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 extends up to but excludes the road and the above-ground elements of the perimeter post-and-wire fence.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

Cultural Significance

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

Intrinsic characteristics

The monument is visible as an upstanding feature, a relatively well-preserved example of a neolithic or Bronze-Age cairn. The cairn survives to an impressive height despite straightening of the road on the east and ploughing on all other sides. Similar monuments have revealed more than one burial. The mound is likely to seal a buried land surface and this could provide evidence of the environment during the neolithic or Bronze Age when the monument was constructed and used. The monument has the potential to further our understanding of neolithic or Bronze-Age funerary practices, as well as inform our knowledge of the structural features of large burial monuments.

Contextual characteristics

This monument's importance is enhanced by its location in a lowland setting, where few upstanding monuments survive. The monument belongs to a diverse group of around 165 surviving Bronze-Age burial cairns in Strathdon, of which 71 have been removed. It is part of a much larger contemporary burial tradition that covers much of Scotland. Monuments like this across Strathdon share aspects of the same construction style, use and relative position in the landscape. The location of such sites was extremely important; this monument is sited in a prominent position, on a natural knoll, with good views to the south, west and north. It lies just 600m WNW of The Temple Stones, stone circle NE of Potterton House. The spatial analysis of this cairn and other ceremonial sites may further our understanding of funerary site location, the structure and nature of society (in the absence of obvious settlement remains from this period) and the neolithic or Bronze-Age economy.

National Importance

This monument is of national importance because it has the potential to contribute to an understanding of the past, in particular neolithic or Bronze-Age burial architecture and practice in Scotland. It also fits into a distinctive pattern of prehistoric burial and settlement in the Strathdon area. Skeletal remains and artefacts from such burials have the potential to tell us about wider prehistoric society, how people lived, where they came from and who they had contact with. The old ground surface sealed by the monument can provide information about what the contemporary environment looked like and how the prehistoric people who interred their dead here managed the surrounding land. The loss of this monument would impede our ability to understand the neolithic or Bronze-Age ritual landscape, as well as our knowledge of neolithic or Bronze-Age social structure and economy.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NJ91NW98, Home Farm of Potterton: cairn. The monument is recorded in the Aberdeenshire SMR as NJ91NW0109, Home Farm of Potterton: cairns.



Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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