Ancient Monuments

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Glenkindie House, souterrain 350m WSW of

A Scheduled Monument in Aboyne, Upper Deeside and Donside, Aberdeenshire

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Latitude: 57.2161 / 57°12'58"N

Longitude: -2.9633 / 2°57'48"W

OS Eastings: 341916

OS Northings: 814340

OS Grid: NJ419143

Mapcode National: GBR M91N.96P

Mapcode Global: WH7MN.GW3F

Entry Name: Glenkindie House, souterrain 350m WSW of

Scheduled Date: 19 November 2003

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM10953

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: souterrain, earth-house

Location: Towie

County: Aberdeenshire

Electoral Ward: Aboyne, Upper Deeside and Donside

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire


The monument comprises a souterrain of prehistoric date situated beneath a clump of trees on a narrow SE-facing terrace 350m WSW of Glenkindie House. The souterrain comprises two chambers or passages, the northern of which is entered from the main passage by way of a narrow, original opening set towards the W end of the N wall.

The original entrance to the main passage lay at its ESE end but is no longer visible; it was apparently visible in 1817 when the souterrain was discovered, but at that time the passage extended for at least a further 3m eastwards, curving slightly towards the NE. The end of the passage and details of the entrance probably still survive buried beneath a ramp of earth that drops down to the floor of the souterrain from a hole in the roof.

The passage is aligned roughly ESE and WNW, and was originally about 10m long. Only 7m is now visible, and this measures up to 2.7m in breadth and 1.8m in height. The walls are constructed of random rubble masonry set on a basal course of large upright boulders, some of which measure over 1m in height.

Above the basal course, the interstices of which have been carefully filled with small stones, the dry-stone wall has a pronounced corbel, at one point reducing the width of the passage from 2.7m at ground-level to 1.9m at roof-level. The roof has been constructed of large irregularly-shaped slabs and stones, the largest of which measures 1.5m in breadth and is probably at least 2.5m in length, and the gaps between them have been filled with smaller slabs.

Situated 1.6m from the WNW end, and set about 0.6m above the floor-level, there is the entrance to the chamber on the N. This entrance is defined by three large stones (two jambs and a lintel) and now measures about 0.75m in height by 0.5m in width and 0.6m in length. There is evidence, however, to suggest that this entrance originally had a sill-stone also, in which case it probably measured no more than 0.6m in height.

The N chamber measures 5m in length by up to 1.9m in breadth and 1.9m in height. The floor level is flush with the bottom of the entrance and is at least 0.6m above that of the main passage. The construction of the walls and roof is similar to that of the main passage.

The area proposed for scheduling comprises the remains described and an area around them within which related material may survive as yet undiscovered. It is square in shape measuring 23m on each side, as marked in red on the accompanying map extract.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as the remains of a prehistoric souterrain, a stone walled underground passage which is found mainly in Angus, Aberdeenshire, Sutherland and Caithness and the Northern and Western Isles.

Their function is as yet unknown, although analysis of the evidence to date suggests that they may have been used as some form of storage. As yet there as been no detailed analysis of the structural form or situation of this type of monument in the north east of Scotland.

This site is a well preserved example of a two-passage type, and although the original access is not currently visible, it is possible that it may survive beneath the current ground surface. It is one of a collection of recorded souterrains located in the river valley of the Don, the predominant evidence to date for activity dating to the Iron Age in the vicinity.

This monument therefore offers the potential to contribute to an understanding of prehistoric settlement and economy of the later Iron Age.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NJ41SW 2.


Mitchell A (1863b) 'Notice of the recent excavation of an underground building at Buchaam, Strathdon, on the property of Sir Charles Forbes, Bart., of Newe and Edinglassie', PROC SOC ANTIQ SCOT 4, 436, 438.


Simpson W D ed. (1942g) THE BOOK OF GLENBUCHAT, Aberdeen, 164-5.

Thomson R (1988) 'Earth house at Farmtown, Strathdon', TRANS BANFFSHIRE FLD CLUB, 34-5.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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