Ancient Monuments

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Standingstones, standing stone 275m ESE of

A Scheduled Monument in North Kincardine, Aberdeenshire

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Latitude: 57.0684 / 57°4'6"N

Longitude: -2.2538 / 2°15'13"W

OS Eastings: 384708

OS Northings: 797516

OS Grid: NO847975

Mapcode National: GBR XH.LSV0

Mapcode Global: WH9R1.CL0M

Entry Name: Standingstones, standing stone 275m ESE of

Scheduled Date: 30 March 2009

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM12412

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric ritual and funerary: standing stone

Location: Maryculter

County: Aberdeenshire

Electoral Ward: North Kincardine

Traditional County: Kincardineshire


The monument comprises a single standing stone likely to date to the late neolithic or Bronze Age. It survives as an upstanding monolith incorporated into a broadly NE- to SW-running stone dyke that separates enclosed rough grazing (to the north-west) from a mature conifer plantation (to the south-east). The standing stone is located on the wide, N-facing river terrace on the S bank of the River Dee, at approximately 110m above sea level.

The earthfast boulder measures approximately 1.6m high and is trapezoidal on plan with its footprint measuring 0.4m by 0.6m by 0.8m. It tapers inwards from its base towards its top, which is pointed. All visible faces have lichen and some moss growth despite there being loose granitic material over parts of these faces. The dyke is built up to two of the stone's faces.

The area to be scheduled is circular on plan, centred on the stone, 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 this scheduling to allow for their maintenance are the above-ground elements of the adjoining stone dykes and a post-and-wire fence that runs parallel to and southwards from the dyke.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

Cultural Significance

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

Intrinsic characteristics

This well-preserved single standing stone survives in an upstanding form and there is no evidence for disturbance of its original setting. It therefore has the potential to tell us more about the circumstances and details of its placement here. Where subsurface deposits, such as burials or associated finds, are present, these can tell us more about the circumstances of its use. Dating evidence may survive and this could help us understand the chronology of these monuments in the prehistoric landscapes connected by the River Dee.

Contextual characteristics

This is a modestly-sized example of its class and, along with the 50 or so others in the wider area of Strathdon, it represents the extensive colonisation of this part of Scotland during the late Neolithic and Bronze Age. Broadly contemporary remains of settlements, agricultural activity and burial sites have been identified to the east of the standing stone and these corroborate the concentration of prehistoric activity in this part of Scotland, including the ceremonial or ritual activity that might have taken place at this site. Researchers think that these standing stones had significance not just for ceremony and ritual but also for their position in the landscape, part of a network or wider 'map' of similar monuments. Its location appears to be carefully selected, taking advantage of views of the River Dee and a direct line of sight to the prominent hill of Bennachie, a common feature of prehistoric sites in this area.

Associative characteristics

The area to the west of this site (including modern buildings) is referred to as Standingstones on early Ordnance Survey mapping, although it is not clear to which feature this name specifically refers to. The site itself is marked as a standing stone on Ordnance Survey mapping.

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 the use of prehistoric standing stones and the role they played in prehistoric life and death. There is good potential for the survival of archaeological evidence relating to its construction and this can help us understand the significance of standing stones individually and as part of wider prehistoric landscapes. The loss of the monument would impede our ability to understand the development of late-neolithic and Bronze-Age communities in NE Scotland.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NO89NW 25. Aberdeenshire Council SMR records the monument as NO89NW 0019.


RCAHMS 1984, THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES AND MONUMENTS OF NORTH KINCARDINESHIRE, KINCARDINE AND DESSIDE DISTRICT, GRAMPIAN REGION, The Archaeological Sites and Monuments of Scotland Series, Edinburgh: Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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