Ancient Monuments

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Kinbattoch, homestead moat 575m south of

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

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Latitude: 57.1898 / 57°11'23"N

Longitude: -2.9471 / 2°56'49"W

OS Eastings: 342855

OS Northings: 811396

OS Grid: NJ428113

Mapcode National: GBR WK.11DC

Mapcode Global: WH7MV.PKT2

Entry Name: Kinbattoch, homestead moat 575m S of

Scheduled Date: 1 March 2007

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM11586

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Secular: homestead moat

Location: Towie

County: Aberdeenshire

Electoral Ward: Aboyne, Upper Deeside and Donside

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire


The monument comprises the remains of a moated homestead of likely later medieval date surviving as a series of earthworks in an improved field at around 290m OD. It is situated on the edge of marshy area fed by the Burn of Towie, which would probably have been used to fill the moat; the NW corner of the moat remains quite wet.

The homestead is roughly rectangular on plan with rounded corners. Ploughing has considerably reduced and spread the earthworks. The construction of a cottage that is surrounded by a shelterbelt of trees destroyed the NW corner. The interior of the moated area measures around 28m E-W and, in its truncated form, around 27m N-S. However, earlier map evidence and the faint line of the moat on the E side would suggest that the interior extended for a further 10m to the N. The best-preserved, W section of the ditch, measures about 16m in width by about 2.5m in depth, although the track leading to Kinbattock Farm overlies the outer bank. Two slightly raised areas at the SE and SW corners may represent the remains of an enclosing bank. There are no visible features in the interior.

The area to be scheduled is irregular on plan, to include the homestead moat and an area around in which evidence for its construction and use may survive, as marked in red on the accompanying map. The above-ground remains of the modern field boundaries, including the fenced property boundary, are specifically excluded from the scheduling, to allow for their maintenance.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

Cultural Significance

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

Intrinsic characteristics: The monument is an example of a homestead moat, which is a relatively rare monument type. Although eroded through ploughing and the construction of a cottage on its NW corner, the monument does survive as upstanding earthworks. There is a strong likelihood that archaeological deposits associated with the monument are preserved, such as in the W stretch of ditch.

Contextual characteristics: Homestead moats are a type of medieval fortified site now characterised through earthwork remains or cropmarks. They are important because they mark local centres of lordship during the feudalisation of Scotland; and in some cases these centres may have an earlier medieval origin Aberdeenshire has one of the highest identified concentrations of this monument type. However, total numbers so far identified remain small. Relatively few survive as upstanding monuments due to locations in good agricultural land and the modest nature of their earthworks, resulting in losses from ploughing.

In Central Aberdeenshire, there is a pronounced concentration of moated sites with other examples at Heugh, Roundabout (now ploughed away), Caskieben, Castle of Lesmoir, Lumphanan and Fichlie. The massive Doune of Invernochty, seat of the Earls of Mar before the construction of Kildrummy Castle, shares characteristics with some of these sites, particularly the exploitation of natural water sources to augment defences. This concentration of homestead moats may relate to, and give insights into, the feudalisation of this part of Scotland.

Associative characteristics: Kinbattock was within the earldom of Mar and, as with other many castles of this area, may have had an association with the earldom.

National Importance

The monument is of national importance because it has an inherent potential to inform us of the construction techniques, defences and domestic life of such fortifications. It may also shed light on the extent and nature of the feudalisation of Scotland and particularly the NE of Scotland. The concentration of this monument type in central Aberdeenshire may relate to the specific nature of this process in this area and perhaps the specific role and influence of the earls of Mar.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NJ41SW 7, Aberdeenshire SMR as NJ41SW0007.


Bogdan N and Bryce I B D 1991, 'Castles, manors and 'town houses' survey', DISCOVERY EXCAV SCOT, 1991, 30.

Coleman R J, Murray J C and Perry D 2002, A MANAGEMENT STUDY OF MOATED SITES IN GRAMPIAN, (= Unpublished study by SUAT Ltd for Historic Scotland).

Keith A 1935, IN PRAISE OF DONSIDE, The Deeside Fld, 1st, 7, 1935, 3.

McNeill P G B and MacQueen H L 1996, ATLAS OF SCOTTISH HISTORY TO 1707, in P G B McNeill and H L MacQueen, Edinburgh, 431.


ORDNANCE SURVEY NAME BOOK (COUNTY), Original Name Books of the Ordnance Survey Book No. 87, 86.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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