Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Bluemill, ring-ditch house 800m ESE of

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

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Latitude: 57.1949 / 57°11'41"N

Longitude: -2.9628 / 2°57'46"W

OS Eastings: 341915

OS Northings: 811983

OS Grid: NJ419119

Mapcode National: GBR WJ.0PZF

Mapcode Global: WH7MV.GFC4

Entry Name: Bluemill, ring-ditch house 800m ESE of

Scheduled Date: 1 March 2007

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM11587

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 a ring-ditch house of prehistoric date, visible as an upstanding monument in heather moorland on the NW flank of Soliken.

It comprises a near-circular ditched enclosure, measuring internally 8.3m in diameter within a thick stony bank up to 3.2m in thickness by 0.2m in height. The ditch lies immediately within the bank and is about 1.5m wide, petering out in the E sector of the house. The entrance is on the WSW sector. Excavation of such ring-ditches shows them to represent the remains of roundhouses of later prehistoric date.

The area proposed for scheduling is circular on plan, to include the remains described and an area around them within which related material may be expected to be found, as marked in red on the accompanying map extract.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

Cultural Significance

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

Intrinsic characteristics: The monument is a well-preserved example of a later prehistoric ring-ditch house. The remains of the ditch and bank are visible on the ground. Given the site's current use as sporting moorland, it is likely that archaeologically significant deposits relating to the construction, use and abandonment of the structure remain in situ.

The site has considerable potential to enhance understanding of later prehistoric roundhouses and the daily lives of the people who occupied them, whether or not it was occupied for a long period of time, or on a seasonal basis.

Contextual characteristics: The monument is the product of later prehistoric domestic activities and is an example of a widespread type, which is relatively rare in this part of Aberdeenshire. It is a good representative of what may have once been a numerous class; the rarity of such sites in the area may be due to poor survival owing to intensive agricultural practices since the later prehistoric period. Together with the other ring-ditches in the area, this site has the potential to provide information about later prehistoric settlement patterns. Comparison of local architectural features in this area with those of other prehistoric roundhouses in Scotland may enhance our understanding of regional variation in later prehistoric settlement.

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 the later prehistoric period. Its relatively good preservation, and its group value when considered with the other ring-ditch nearby, enhances this potential. The loss of or damage to the monument would significantly diminish the capacity of the class to contribute to our understanding of the development of later prehistoric architecture, society, economy in Scotland in general and the prehistory of Western Strathdon in particular.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS record the site as NJ41SW 211, Ring-Ditch House.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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