Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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East Kinharrachie, cairn 335m ENE of

A Scheduled Monument in Ellon and District, Aberdeenshire

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Latitude: 57.372 / 57°22'19"N

Longitude: -2.106 / 2°6'21"W

OS Eastings: 393724

OS Northings: 831285

OS Grid: NJ937312

Mapcode National: GBR P947.KVS

Mapcode Global: WH9PK.MYCY

Entry Name: East Kinharrachie, cairn 335m ENE of

Scheduled Date: 31 March 2009

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM12441

Schedule Class: Cultural

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

Location: Ellon

County: Aberdeenshire

Electoral Ward: Ellon and District

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire


The monument comprises a Bronze-Age burial cairn that survives as a grass-covered mound. It is sited in an area of sparse coniferous woodland on a false summit on the S face of Laverock Hill. The cairn overlooks the River Ythan around 450m to the south, and lies around 45m above sea level.

The cairn measures around 12m in diameter and stands to a height of around 1.5m. In the centre of the monument is a small bowl-shaped depression measuring around 2m in diameter and around 0.6m deep, possibly indicating a previous antiquarian excavation.

The area to be scheduled is circular on plan, centred on the top of the mound, to include the remains described and an area around within which evidence relating to its 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

The monument is visible as an upstanding feature, a relatively well-preserved example of a Bronze-Age cairn. Although someone has possibly partly explored the primary burial at sometime in the past, similar monuments have revealed more than one burial beneath the cairn. The cairn is also likely to seal a buried land surface and this could provide evidence of the environment during the Bronze Age when the monument was constructed and used. The monument has the potential to further our understanding of 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 the Strathdon area. Seventy-one of these have now been completely removed, the rest, including this example, surviving as visible and upstanding monuments to varying degrees. The location of such sites was extremely important, and this particular example has very clear views to the S across the valley of the River Ythan. Spatial analysis of this cairn and other burial sites may further our understanding of funerary site location, the structure of society and the 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 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 surfaces 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. Its loss would impede our ability to understand the placing of such monuments within the landscape, as well as our knowledge of Bronze-Age social structure and economy.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS record the site as NJ93SW 14: East Kinharrachie; Aberdeenshire SMR as NJ93SW0014: East Kinharrachie.



Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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