Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Shields, hut circle 295m north west of

A Scheduled Monument in North Kincardine, Aberdeenshire

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Latitude: 57.0588 / 57°3'31"N

Longitude: -2.1843 / 2°11'3"W

OS Eastings: 388917

OS Northings: 796434

OS Grid: NO889964

Mapcode National: GBR XL.4JP4

Mapcode Global: WH9R2.FV20

Entry Name: Shields, hut circle 295m NW of

Scheduled Date: 4 March 2009

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM12476

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: hut circle, roundhouse

Location: Banchory-Devenick

County: Aberdeenshire

Electoral Ward: North Kincardine

Traditional County: Kincardineshire


The monument comprises the remains of a hut circle of possible late Bronze-Age or Iron-Age date. It is visible as an interrupted, roughly-circular ring of turf-covered stony walling situated about 290m NW of Shields farm.

The hut-circle is situated on level ground and is now overgrown with grass in an area of rough grazing approximately 40m above sea level. The hut-circle is around 12m in diameter over a spread wall that measures 2.8m thick and stands up to 0.5m in height. What may be the entrance is visible on the NW while a track running through the hut-circle has created breaks on the NE and SE.

The area proposed for scheduling is circular on plan, centred on the hut circle, 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.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

Cultural Significance

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

Intrinsic characteristics

The monument consists of a well-preserved later prehistoric roundhouse dating to the first or second millennium BC. Given the site's location in land currently used for winter grazing cattle, it is likely that archaeologically significant deposits relating to construction, occupation and abandonment of the hut-circle remains in place. In addition, it is likely that deposits survive that could provide data relating to the later prehistoric environment. The site offers excellent potential to contribute to our understanding of later prehistoric roundhouses and the daily lives of the people who occupied them.

Contextual characteristics

Upstanding remains of unenclosed hut-circles in Aberdeenshire are generally found in areas that have not been subjected to intensive arable cultivation. Such sites are often found in close proximity to visible remains of field-systems. At Shields, the hut-circle lies close to fragments of what may have been an associated agricultural enclosure and a number of cairns can also be observed in the area surrounding the hut-circle. At least two ring cairns and a cairn field lie further to the N and, as a whole, the wider landscape offers good potential to improve our understanding of the relationship between the agricultural/domestic and the ritual/funerary practices of the period.

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 Bronze- or Iron-Age society and the nature of later prehistoric domestic practice. The good level of preservation, lack of recent cultivation and the survival of marked field characteristics enhances this potential. The loss of the example would significantly impede our ability to understand the later prehistoric period in NE Scotland.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS record the monument as NO89NE 7 and the Aberdeenshire SMR as NO89NE0009.



Ralston I 1980, 'Shields (Maryculter parish): hut circle, field system', DISCOVERY EXCAV SCOT 1980, 15.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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