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Buchaam, hut circles and cultivation remains 600m SSE of

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

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Latitude: 57.2018 / 57°12'6"N

Longitude: -3.001 / 3°0'3"W

OS Eastings: 339619

OS Northings: 812783

OS Grid: NJ396127

Mapcode National: GBR WH.07M6

Mapcode Global: WH7MT.W74V

Entry Name: Buchaam, hut circles and cultivation remains 600m SSE of

Scheduled Date: 9 March 2007

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM11881

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: hut circle, roundhouse

Location: Towie

County: Aberdeenshire

Electoral Ward: Aboyne, Upper Deeside and Donside

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire


The monument comprises the remains of two hut-circles, the footings of the walls of roundhouses that are likely to be Late Bronze Age or Iron Age (dating to the first or second millennium BC), together with elements of a prehistoric field system. The remains are located in W-facing improved pasture on the N flank of Deskry Hill, overlooking the River Don at a height of between 260 m and 280 m above sea level.

The hut-circles are visible as upstanding turf-covered stony, roughly circular banks. The largest and best-preserved hut-circle, depicted on Ordnance Survey (OS) mapping, measures 11 m in diameter within a bank 0.3 m and 1 m wide. The entrance is in the NW quarter and the interior has not been levelled by cultivation. The second hut-circle, located 55 m WSW of that shown on the OS map, is less well preserved. It measures approximately 8 m in diameter within a bank 0.2 m high and 2 m in breadth.

The hut-circles lie within a field system of linear stony banks, enclosing the narrowly spaced parallel ridges characteristic of prehistoric cord-rig cultivation. The field boundaries define two fields. The NE field is sub-divided by another low bank crossing it obliquely. The relationship between the hut-circles, the field banks and the cord rig is a complex one, probably representing an extended period of activity. The remains described above represent a sample of a larger field system and group of hut-circles identified and mapped by RCAHMS surveyors in 1997.

The area to be scheduled is polygonal on plan, to include the visible remains and an area around in which evidence relating to their construction and use may survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map. The scheduling excludes the above-ground portion of a telegraph pole, to allow for maintenance of the overhead line.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

Cultural Significance

The monument's archaeological significance can be expressed as follows:

Intrinsic characteristics: The monument consists of well-preserved examples of two later prehistoric hut-circles, together with elements of a field system, dating to the first or second millennium BC. The various elements of the monument are in a relatively good state of preservation; they are upstanding and clearly visible in the landscape. Given the excellent preservation of the rare cord-rig cultivation remains, it is likely that archaeologically significant deposits, relating to the construction, use and abandonment of the structures and the relationship of the hut-circles to the field system, survive intact. The site has considerable potential to enhance understanding of later prehistoric roundhouses and to contribute environmental information about prehistoric upland landuse.

Contextual characteristics: The monument includes two hut-circles, a common class of prehistoric monument in the locality, but also cord rig, which is rare, particularly in this part of Scotland. Archaeologists have recorded a large complex of field clearance cairns and roundhouse stances to the E of the monument and other hut-circles and roundhouses are recorded in the area. Most of these are at higher altitude in contrast to this site, which survives in improved pasture at relatively low altitude. The wider group of monuments has the potential to provide a better understanding of how later prehistoric society was structured and exploited the landscape.

The hut-circles have the potential to reveal much about house building and domestic life in the later prehistoric communities of NE Scotland. Each hut-circle can be compared and contrasted to other hut-circles in the locality and others outside the region to create an understanding of regional identity, economy and society.

National Importance

The monument is of national importance because it has an inherent potential to make a significant addition to the understanding of the past, in particular Bronze- or Iron-Age society and the nature of later prehistoric domestic and agricultural practice. Its good preservation and the survival of marked field characteristics enhance this potential. The loss of this complex archaeological site would significantly impede our ability to understand the Bronze and/or Iron Age in NE Scotland. The sample of the associated agricultural landscape, represented by the field enclosure banks and the cord rig, is important because it preserves the relationship of the houses to the immediate archaeological landscape. The possible multiple phases of use represented by the various elements of the monument further enhance its research potential and importance.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS record the monument as part of NJ31SE 17 and NJ31SE 28. It is recorded in the Aberdeenshire SMR as NJ31SE0016 and NJ31SE0027.

Aerial photographs:

RCAHMS, D45491 Deskry Hill, Hut-circles; Field System; cord rig. 23/6/1999.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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