Ancient Monuments

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Loanhead, stone circle and enclosed cremation cemetery

A Scheduled Monument in Mid Formartine, Aberdeenshire

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Latitude: 57.3494 / 57°20'58"N

Longitude: -2.421 / 2°25'15"W

OS Eastings: 374761

OS Northings: 828850

OS Grid: NJ747288

Mapcode National: GBR N9C9.CL7

Mapcode Global: WH8NG.SJ9P

Entry Name: Loanhead, stone circle and enclosed cremation cemetery

Scheduled Date: 31 August 1925

Last Amended: 12 February 2001

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM90202

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric ritual and funerary: stone circle or ring

Location: Daviot

County: Aberdeenshire

Electoral Ward: Mid Formartine

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire


The monument comprises a stone circle and enclosed cremation cemetery of prehistoric date. It is in the care of the Scottish Ministers and is being re-scheduled to clarify the extent of the protected area.

The monument lies in rough grassland near the summit of a small hill, at around 160m OD. It comprises a circle of 11 stones, with a diameter of about 21m. At the SW of the circle is a large recumbent stone measuring about 3m long. It is flanked closely by two upright stones which form part of the circle. Within the stone circle is a ring cairn with a diameter of about 16m, the outer limit of which is defined by a low kerb.

Stone circles of this type are known as recumbent stone circles and have a distribution concentrated in Grampian. They are characteristic of the Neolithic and Early Bronze Age. Their exact function remains unclear, but they were of ritual and ceremonial purpose. Recumbent stone circles often have a central ring cairn. The monument was excavated in 1934.

Immediately to the SE of the stone circle is an enclosed cremation cemetery of Bronze Age date, now defined by two arcs of low stone walling, with entrances at the W and E. The cemetery was excavated and reconstructed in 1935, revealing a central cremation burial and twenty other cremation burials, 12 of which were in beakers.

The area proposed for scheduling comprises the remains described and an area around them within which related material may be expected to be found. It is rectangular measuring approximately 77m NW-SE by approximately 51m NE-SW, as marked in red on the accompanying map extract.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance because of its potential to contribute to our understanding of prehistoric funerary and ritual practices. The importance of the site is reflected in it being chosen as a property in care.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NJ 72 NW 1 and 44.


Coles, J M, 1962, 'Scottish Late Bronze Age metalwork: typology, distribution and chronology' Proc Soc Antiq Scot, Vol. 93, 89.

Feachem, R W, 1963, A guide to prehistoric Scotland, London, 39.

Kilbride-Jones, H E, 1935, 'An account of the excavation of the stone circle at Loanhead of Daviot, and of the standing stones of Cullerlie, Echt, both in Aberdeenshire, on behalf of HM office of Works', Proc Soc Antiq Scot, vol. 69, 169-214.

Kilbride-Jones, H E, 1936, 'A late Bronze Age cemetery: being an account of the excavations of the excavations of 1935 at Loanhead of Daviot, Aberdeenshire, on behalf of HM office of works', Proc Soc Antiq Scot, vol. 70, 278.

Ordnance Survey, 1867, Object Name Books of the Ordnance Survey: Aberdeenshire, No. 24, 25.

PSAS 1939, 'Donations to and purchases for the Museum and Library' Proc Soc Antiq Scot, vol. 73, 334.

Shepherd, I, 1986, Exploring Scotland's Heritage, Grampian. HMSO. Edinburgh.

Simpson, W D, 1944, The Province of Mar, being the Rhind Lectures, Aberdeen University Studies, 121 Aberdeen, 48-9.
Historic Environment Scotland Properties
Loanhead of Daviot Stone Circle
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Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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