Ancient Monuments

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Larrick, cairn 435m north west of

A Scheduled Monument in Inverurie and District, Aberdeenshire

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Latitude: 57.2457 / 57°14'44"N

Longitude: -2.3048 / 2°18'17"W

OS Eastings: 381704

OS Northings: 817268

OS Grid: NJ817172

Mapcode National: GBR XD.Q0ZJ

Mapcode Global: WH8P3.K4PN

Entry Name: Larrick, cairn 435m NW of

Scheduled Date: 4 March 2009

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM12352

Schedule Class: Cultural

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

Location: Fintray

County: Aberdeenshire

Electoral Ward: Inverurie and District

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire


The monument comprises a burial cairn of probable neolithic or Bronze-Age date and the possible remains of a later hut circle. It survives as a large, grass-covered earth-and-stone mound with a superimposed penannular-shaped feature on its southern half. The cairn is located above the northern river terrace overlooking the River Don, west-north-west of Hatton of Fintry. It sits in a woodland clearing surrounded by mature conifers at approximately 80m above sea level.

The cairn measures approximately 12m in diameter and is approximately 1m high. It is circular on plan with a roughly crescent-shaped feature and depression at its southern end. A possible hut circle overlies the cairn, visible as a roughly circular setting of boulders, with an entrance on the SE.

The area to be scheduled is circular on plan, centred on the cairn, 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.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

Cultural Significance

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

Intrinsic characteristics

This cairn survives with its structural detail intact, and a crescent-shaped feature that overlies and obscures the southern half of the mound. Researchers think that the semi-circular feature is the remains of a later house built onto the cairn and this provides an interesting glimpse into the possible reuse of such monuments. The mound is likely to seal one or more burials and may overlie a prehistoric land surface containing environmental evidence. It therefore has the potential to tell us about the architecture of burial monuments and their reuse, the practice of burial and commemorating the dead, and the local environment when the cairn was constructed.

Contextual characteristics

The monument belongs to a numerous and widespread group of prehistoric monuments. It represents the prehistoric exploitation of this part of NE Scotland and, as one of under 100 surviving examples, is an important indicator for the scale of settlement and activity that took place here. The River Don appears to be a central feature of this exploitation and the probable views from the cairn (now obscured by modern forestry) toward the river and to other similar monuments would suggest that the site was deliberately chosen because of its views. The cairn can therefore help us understand more about prehistoric burial along the margins of river systems such as Strathdon, and the wider exploitation of land by Bronze-Age communities.

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 prehistoric burial architecture and the positioning in the landscape of monuments commemorating the dead in relation to other monuments and natural features. It survives with a significant proportion of its structure intact and is likely to seal important buried deposits relating to its construction and original use. With a possible later domestic structure overlying the cairn, it gives us an unusual and intriguing insight into the adaption and reuse of burial monuments. The loss of the monument would impede our ability to understand the nature of prehistoric activity in this part of Scotland.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NJ82SW 117. Aberdeenshire Council SMR records the monument as NJ81NW 0004.



Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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