Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Braedale, cairn 270m south west of

A Scheduled Monument in East Garioch, Aberdeenshire

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Latitude: 57.246 / 57°14'45"N

Longitude: -2.2127 / 2°12'45"W

OS Eastings: 387263

OS Northings: 817270

OS Grid: NJ872172

Mapcode National: GBR XJ.H457

Mapcode Global: WH9Q8.Z4HH

Entry Name: Braedale, cairn 270m SW of

Scheduled Date: 20 February 2009

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM12432

Schedule Class: Cultural

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

Location: New Machar

County: Aberdeenshire

Electoral Ward: East Garioch

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire


The monument comprises the remains of a cairn of probable neolithic or Bronze-Age date. It survives as a stony mound, which has been cut by a farm track constructed in the 19th century or earlier. The monument is located on a natural knoll on Gallow Hill at around 95m above sea level.

The monument measures approximately 19m in diameter and 2m in height. The edge on the E side is defined by a retaining wall and fence.

The area to be scheduled is circular on plan, centred on the monument, 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 the scheduling are the track and the above-ground elements of all post-and-wire fences, to allow for their maintenance.

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, despite the intrusion of the farm track. 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 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. The spatial analysis of this cairn and other burial 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 NJ81NE150, Braedale: cairn (possible).



Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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