Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Stirling Cairn, cairn 750m south west of Mill of Alvah

A Scheduled Monument in Banff and District, Aberdeenshire

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Latitude: 57.6302 / 57°37'48"N

Longitude: -2.5494 / 2°32'57"W

OS Eastings: 367287

OS Northings: 860162

OS Grid: NJ672601

Mapcode National: GBR N82K.6T1

Mapcode Global: WH8M1.TG5Y

Entry Name: Stirling Cairn, cairn 750m SW of Mill of Alvah

Scheduled Date: 22 March 2005

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM11035

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric ritual and funerary: long cairn

Location: Alvah

County: Aberdeenshire

Electoral Ward: Banff and District

Traditional County: Banffshire


The monument comprises the remains of a prehistoric burial cairn, visible as an upstanding earth and stone mound. Cairns such as this are funerary and ritual monuments built during the Neolithic period (c. 3500-2500BC)

The cairn lies at around 150m OD on a NE-facing spur, approximately 25m below the summit of the Hill of Alvah, where it commands extensive views over the valley of the River Deveron. The most obvious element of the cairn is a substantial stony roughly circular mound measuring up to 19m across and standing between 1 and 1.5m high. Leading from this on the NE side, the low mound of the rest of the cairn extends for another 40m or so. There is no surface evidence for the existence of chambers, cists or facades on the cairn. The difference in the physical nature of the stony mound and the earth and stone construction of the "tail" of the cairn implies that this monument may have undergone several different phases of construction and use.

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 irregular in shape, measuring a maximum of 85m N-S by 40m E-W, as marked in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance because of its potential to contribute to an understanding of prehistoric funerary and ritual practices. Its importance is increased by its proximity to other monuments of potentially contemporary date. The possible multi-phased nature of this site further enhances its interest.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



The monument is recorded by RCAHMS as NJ66SE1.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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