Ancient Monuments

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The Slacks, Kirkhill Forest, burial cairn, hut circles and cairnfield

A Scheduled Monument in Dyce/Bucksburn/Danestone, Aberdeen City

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Latitude: 57.2193 / 57°13'9"N

Longitude: -2.2627 / 2°15'45"W

OS Eastings: 384231

OS Northings: 814314

OS Grid: NJ842143

Mapcode National: GBR XG.0YFL

Mapcode Global: WH9Q8.6SRZ

Entry Name: The Slacks, Kirkhill Forest, burial cairn, hut circles and cairnfield

Scheduled Date: 26 November 2001

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM9245

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: hut circle, roundhouse; Prehistoric ritual and funerary: cairn (

Location: Dyce

County: Aberdeen City

Electoral Ward: Dyce/Bucksburn/Danestone

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire


The monument comprises a circular burial cairn, three certain hut circles, a further four possible hut circles and a cairnfield, all surviving within woodland as upstanding monuments. The substantial burial cairn, comprised entirely of stones, is over 20m in diameter and stands more than 2m high. There are signs of previous disturbance, especially on its top surface, but there is no evidence of a chamber.

A hut circle lies 15m ESE of the burial cairn. It measures 10m in diameter, within walls up to 0.6m high, and there is a marked hollowing of the interior. It has been damaged along its N-S axis by ploughing prior to afforestation some 50 years ago. A further possible hut circle lies immediately SSW of the first one. This group of monuments lies on a moderate NW-facing slope at an altitude of c.170m OD.

Some 250m SE of the burial cairn, there is a substantial stone-walled enclosure, probably another hut circle, nearly 20m in diameter. One other smaller hut circle lies some 60m to the N, and another three possible hut circles lie scattered among the woods further to the north. Traces of rig-and-furrow cultivation can be seen in the vicinity of these hut circles. This group of monuments is situated on a moderate SW-facing slope at an altitude of between c.150m and 180m OD.

The burial cairn lies on the northern edge of an extensive cairnfield. The hut circles lie within the cairnfield, with the largest one on its south-eastern edge. Recent survey has revealed a minimum of 150 small cairns, of varying size but generally up to 3m in diameter and up to 0.3 to 0.5m high.

The area to be scheduled is irregular on plan, with maximum dimensions of about 470m SW-NE by 370m W-E. It includes the visible upstanding monuments and an area around them within which related remains might be expected to survive. This area is marked in red on the accompanying map extract.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as a rare example in this area of a fragment of prehistoric landscape, with settlement remains (the hut circles), a funerary monument (the burial cairn) and an ancient field system (the cairnfield) surviving as upstanding monuments in association with each other. The monument has the potential to provide important information about Bronze Age funerary rites, domestic architecture, economy and land-use.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NJ 81 SW 21 and NJ 81 SW 48.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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