Ancient Monuments

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Two henges, 175m north east and 410m WSW of Lindston House

A Scheduled Monument in Maybole, North Carrick and Coylton, South Ayrshire

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Latitude: 55.4179 / 55°25'4"N

Longitude: -4.5733 / 4°34'23"W

OS Eastings: 237220

OS Northings: 616790

OS Grid: NS372167

Mapcode National: GBR 4C.0P9N

Mapcode Global: WH3R7.Q2GW

Entry Name: Two henges, 175m NE and 410m WSW of Lindston House

Scheduled Date: 2 October 1970

Last Amended: 24 October 2023

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM2932

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric ritual and funerary: henge

Location: Dalrymple

County: South Ayrshire

Electoral Ward: Maybole, North Carrick and Coylton

Traditional County: Ayrshire


The monument comprises the remains of two henges. Henges are a form of ritual or ceremonial monument dating to the late Neolithic or early Bronze Age (around 3000-1500BC). The north-eastern henge measures around 50m across and it survives as a slight earthwork, with a ditch, bank, causeway and interior platform. The enclosing ditch is the most visible feature. The south-western henge measures around 55m across and is better preserved, with a visible bank, ditch, causeway and interior platform. The henges are located, around 540m apart in agricultural land at around 120m above sea level.

The henges are located on a broad ridge of low hill summits which run in a northeasterly – southwesterly direction. The northeastern henge is located just to the southeast of the summit of one of the low hills and has extensive views to the south and east. A post and wire fence currently runs across the henge from northeast to southwest and plough cultivation to either side has reduced the monument to a low earthwork. The henge measures about 30m in diameter within a ditch (7m broad and up to 0.4m deep) and a bank (10m thick and 0.2m in high), giving an overall diameter of almost 50m. A causeway (7.5m wide) leads into the interior from the east and the ditch broadens noticeably to either side. The southwestern henge is situated on the nearly level summit of another low hill forming that forms the ridge and has commanding views in every direction. It survives as circular earthwork which measures 40m from east to west by 38m transversely within a ditch 7.5m broad and 0.5m deep. There are traces of an external bank, but this has been reduced to little more than a low swelling on the north and west sides of the henge. The entrance has been in the east where a causeway (7m wide) crosses the ditch.

The scheduled area comprises two circular areas. The northeasternmost (centred on NS 3771 1712) measures 70m in diameter. The southwestern one (centred on NS 3722 1679) measures 75m in diameter. It includes the remains described above and an area around within which evidence relating to the monument's construction, use and abandonment is expected to survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map. The scheduled area specifically excludes all modern hedges and fences to allow for their maintenance.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The national importance of the monument is demonstrated in the following way(s) (see Designations Policy and Selection Guidance, Annex 1, para 17): 

a.  The monument is of national importance because it makes a significant contribution to our understanding or appreciation of the past or has the potential to do so. These henges are an important indicator of prehistoric activity in this region of Scotland, during the late Neolithic and Early Bronze Age periods. The monument can help us understand more about prehistoric society and the nature of ceremony, ritual and belief systems.

b.   The monument retains structural attributes which make a significant contribution to our understanding or appreciation of the past. The monument survives as pair of earthwork structures. There is good potential for the survival of archaeological and environmental evidence within the ditch fills and in the interior and exterior areas of the monument. The monument can significantly add to our understanding of the meaning and importance of ritual in the late Neolithic and early Bronze Age periods.

c.   The monument is a rare example of a pair of henges located near each other with potential for prehistoric ritual and burial remains.

d.   The monument is a particularly good example of a pair of henge monuments and is therefore an important representative of this monument type. 

e.   The monument has research potential which could significantly contribute to our understanding of the past. It can tell us about the character, development and use of ritual sites, and the nature of prehistoric society, economy, social hierarchy and burial in this area of Scotland and further afield. Further research and investigation of the surviving buried remains have the potential to explain the precise chronology of this monument. Such a chronological explanation may help to inform our understanding of the development of similar prehistoric sites across Scotland.

Assessment of Cultural Significance

This statement of national importance has been informed by the following assessment of cultural significance:

Intrinsic characteristics (how the remains of a site or place contribute to our knowledge of the past)

The monument survives as a pair of earthwork monuments. Henge monuments are typically circular or sub-circular on plan defined by an external bank and internal ditch arrangement. They are sites of ritual significance and typically provide evidence of prehistoric ceremonial practices. Both henges survive as a low circular earthwork monuments with entrance causeways. An entrance causeway is visible in the east quadrant of both henges where it crosses the bank and ditch to access the internal platform.

Archaeological investigation of these types of monument has confirmed that significant archaeological and environmental evidence can survive in the buried layers – deposits and artefacts such as pottery, flints and animal bone as well as botanical remains create an important overall assemblage. Investigations have determined that these monuments had long development sequences and multiple phases of use. The monument and any archaeological deposits can therefore help us understand much about prehistoric life - the lives, contacts, beliefs and practices of the people who built and used it; the events and ceremonies that took place here; the phases of its use and re-use and the wider environmental conditions that prevailed when it was built and in use. Study of the monument's form and construction process compared with similar monuments would enhance our understanding of the development sequence of this site and the class of monument in general.

Contextual characteristics (how a site or place relates to its surroundings and/or to our existing knowledge of the past)

The monument belongs to a group of prehistoric ceremonial monuments which have been variously classed as henges, mini henges, henge monuments and hengi-form monuments. Researchers have indicated the difficulties in these over-simplified terms. However, the general use of the term 'henge' remains helpful in distinguishing a monument whose primary purpose was for ceremonial and ritual events as opposed to settlement / domestic / agricultural or similar activity.

Henges are a rare monument type; around 90 henges are known of in Scotland. While many are located in fertile agricultural land and survive as buried features, visible as cropmarks in aerial imagery, these examples are upstanding field monuments, adding to their significance. The known distribution of these monuments is generally in southern, eastern and northern Scotland, although further examples are known of in Argyll, Skye and Orkney. These examples are part of a small group of four such monuments located in Ayrshire, the two others are Holms (Canmore ID 157510) and Broadsheen (Canmore ID 85832). Both of these examples survive as buried archaeological features known from aerial imagery.

It is unusual to find henge monuments in close proximity. There are only a few other examples in Scotland, such as at Forteviot, Perth and Kinross (scheduled monuments SM4111 and SM4232) and the Loch of Stenness, Orkney (scheduled monuments SM90285, SM90042 and SM1370). This arrangement and relative scarcity of similar groupings of henges in close proximity increases the importance of the monument.

The local grouping of these henges signifies a concentration of activity in the late Neolithic and early Bronze Age. Their relative proximity to each other can give an insight into the broader contemporary landscape during prehistory; the social organisation of communities and their activities and the division of land. Researchers indicate that the positioning of these monuments is carefully planned to take advantage of natural features, routeways, views and natural resources. This example occupies a relatively high position in the local landscape at approximately 120m above sea level. There are predominant views south and southeast with views to the east (northeastern henge) and west (southwestern henge).

Associative characteristics (how a site or place relates to people, events, and/or historic and social movements)

There are no known associative characteristics that contribute to this monument's national importance.


Source: Historic Environment Scotland



Historic Environment Scotland reference number CANMORE IDs 41584 and 375205 (accessed on 28/07/2023).

West of Scotland Archaeology Service (WOSAS) HER Reference 6157 (accessed on 28/07/2023).

Ashmore P J 1996. Neolithic and Bronze Age Scotland. Batsford, London.

Bradley R, 2011. Stage and Screens. An investigation of four henge monuments in Northern and North-eastern Scotland. Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. Edinburgh.

Younger, R K, 2015. De-henging the henge: a biographical approach to Scotland's henge monuments. PhD thesis. University of Glasgow. Glasgow.


Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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