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Little Eddieston Cottage, farmstead 235m east of

A Scheduled Monument in Lower Deeside, Aberdeen City

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Coordinates

Latitude: 57.1091 / 57°6'32"N

Longitude: -2.3459 / 2°20'45"W

OS Eastings: 379147

OS Northings: 802073

OS Grid: NJ791020

Mapcode National: GBR XB.H3J4

Mapcode Global: WH8PN.YK2X

Entry Name: Little Eddieston Cottage, farmstead 235m E of

Scheduled Date: 30 April 2009

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM12549

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Secular: farmstead

Location: Peterculter

County: Aberdeen City

Electoral Ward: Lower Deeside

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire

Description

The monument comprises the remains of at least three structures forming a pre-Improvement farmstead. The farmstead is located on a S-facing slope at between 80 and 85m above sea level and 265m north of the Gormack Burn. A single building is all that appears on the Ordnance Survey First Edition and this has disappeared by the time of the Second Edition, attesting to the pre-19th-century origins of the settlement.

The remains of the farmstead consist of the partially tumbled wall footings of at least three structures, two of which form an integral part of a stone field boundary crossing the north of the site. The easternmost of these two structures measures 8.5m from ESE to WNW by 4.5m transversely. A doorway is located in the S side and measures 1.5m in width. A second cell, or yard, abuts the W end of this structure and measures 6m by 3.5m with an entrance on the S side. The structure in the north-west of the site has two cells. The smaller is located at the E end and measures 5m from ESE to WNW by 3.5m transversely. An entrance, measuring around 1m in width, is located in the S side. The W cell is larger and measures around 11m from E to W by around 3.5m transversely; an entrance measuring around 1m is in the S side. A further cell, or yard, of irregular plan abuts this structure to the west and covers an area of around 15 square metres.

A further structure, of two cells, is located to the south-west. Irregular in plan, it measures around 5m from NE to SW by around 3-4.5m transversely. The structure has an entrance in its SE part, measuring 1m in width, which opens into an enclosed area, probably a yard on the S side of the structure. The yard is irregular in plan and covers an area of 121 square metres; an entrance on the S side measures around 4m in width. The partial remains of another rectangular structure are situated in the SE part of the site and consist of the S wall and its E return with a further section of wall in the NW corner of the structure.

The area to be scheduled is irregular in plan, to include the visible remains and an area around them within which evidence relating to their creation and use may survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map. Specifically excluded from this scheduling, to allow for its maintenance, are the above-ground elements of a post-and-wire fence crossing the north of the monument.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

Cultural Significance

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

Intrinsic characteristics

The monument has survived well as a series of upstanding walls. These have an inherent potential to inform our knowledge of pre-Improvement rural architecture and domestic living arrangements, potentially over a period of some time.

The degree of preservation of the structural elements indicate that land use since the settlement became abandoned has not significantly impacted on the monument. There is thus a high potential for the survival of archaeologically significant deposits within and around the monument. These deposits have an inherent capacity to further our understanding of contemporary society and its associated material culture and can inform our knowledge of social, religious and economic activities.

The potential to identify the functions of individual buildings within the farmstead can inform our understanding of the organization of small rural settlement and further our knowledge of the provision for various domestic and industrial practices to be undertaken at such locations. The farmstead also has the capacity to contribute to our knowledge of the development of rural settlement through time and the reasons for and chronology of its eventual abandonment.

Contextual characteristics

The farmstead is located on a S-facing slope on the N side of the valley of the Gormack, which runs ESE to its confluence with the River Dee. All of the structures within the farmstead have a S-facing aspect. It is situated within a belt of unimproved land, with improved fields to the immediate N and some 60m to the SW. This situation has contributed to the preservation of the settlement which is a rare survival within a lowland landscape.

Associative characteristics

The introduction of new farming practices in the 18th century to improve the productivity and profitability of land was accompanied by changes in settlement pattern as communal systems of working the land were replaced with a more efficient system of single tenancy. Common land was enclosed and the landless cottar class were gradually displaced from land over which they had no official rights. Many smaller farms, established in the 17th and 18th centuries when arable land expanded, were amalgamated into single holdings.

Map evidence indicates that the farmstead had been abandoned by the late 19th century. Map evidence also names the adjacent settlements as 'Meikle Eddieston, North Eddieston, Eddieston and Little Eddieston' indicating that settlement within this area may have dispersed and contracted over time, in a state of flux. The monument has an inherent potential to inform our understanding of the practical effects of the 'Improvement' in this part of rural Scotland and the tenuous nature of small rural settlements as a result. There is a great potential for archaeological evidence held within this site to inform and complement pre-existing knowledge gained through documentary research.

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 pre-Improvement rural architecture, domestic arrangements, settlement pattern and land use, potentially developing over some time or through several phases of use. It also has an inherent capacity to contribute to our knowledge of the practical effects that new farming methods had on a lowland rural landscape and population. The unusually good survival of the farmstead, in a lowland setting, enhances this potential, as much of the artefactual and ecofactual evidence is likely to survive. The loss of this monument would impede our ability to understand better the economic, agricultural and domestic changes in early modern rural Scotland as a result of new farming theory and practice.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Sources

Bibliography

RCAHMS database records this monument as Blackhall Industrial/Extractive; Quarrying/Buildings; Quarry, with the number NJ70SE 45.

References:

RCAHMS 2007, IN THE SHADOW OF BENNACHIE: A FIELD ARCHAEOLOGY OF DONSIDE, ABERDEENSHIRE, Edinburgh: Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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