Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

Relaquheim, farmstead 1090m west of, Glen Ernan

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

We don't have any photos of this monument yet. Why don't you be the first to send us one?

Upload Photo »

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »

If Google Street View is available, the image is from the best available vantage point looking, if possible, towards the location of the monument. Where it is not available, the satellite view is shown instead.


Latitude: 57.1996 / 57°11'58"N

Longitude: -3.1531 / 3°9'11"W

OS Eastings: 330427

OS Northings: 812682

OS Grid: NJ304126

Mapcode National: GBR W9.0J90

Mapcode Global: WH6LM.J9RJ

Entry Name: Relaquheim, farmstead 1090m W of, Glen Ernan

Scheduled Date: 20 March 2007

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM11439

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Secular: farmstead

Location: Strathdon

County: Aberdeenshire

Electoral Ward: Aboyne, Upper Deeside and Donside

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire


The monument consists of the remains of Auchnahaich, a farmstead of the mid-18th century or earlier, visible as a series of upstanding banks and other features. It lies on the N slope of Glen Ernan (referred to in the 16th century as "the sunny side"), 240 m SW of Bressachoil.

General Roy's map of 1747-55 shows the farmstead as Achnahaich, a group of six buildings with associated fields of rig and furrow. Several 18th and 19th century documents mention Auchnahaich, but it was unroofed by the time the Ordnance Survey (OS) recorded it on their First Edition 6'' map of 1869 as a group of six buildings plus an enclosure. The OS Second Edition 6" map depicts four unroofed buildings and an enclosure on the spot, suggesting some deterioration in the intervening years.

The monument consists of an enclosure, at least four rick-bases and the remains of up to eight buildings, including a kiln-barn. Also included in the scheduling is a group of ruined buildings within a small woodland, to the E of the buildings recorded by RCAHMS. This area is depicted as woodland on all editions of the OS 1:10 000 map and the buildings are not recorded on any OS map. These may therefore represent the earliest phase of settlement on the site, potentially dating to before the 18th century.

The area proposed for scheduling is irregular on plan, to include the remains described and an area around them within which evidence relating to their use and construction may survive, as marked in red on the accompanying map extract. The above-ground remains of the modern fences on the site are specifically excluded from the scheduling, to allow for their maintenance.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

Cultural Significance

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

Intrinsic characteristics: The monument is a well-preserved example of a pre-Improvement farmstead with upstanding remains dating from the 18th and 19th centuries. Despite some extensive stone robbing, this monument retains well-constructed drystone walls and diagnostic architectural features. It includes a relatively well-preserved kiln-barn, a common feature of pre-Improvement farmsteads. Given the site's current use as pastureland, with a small proportion within ancient birch woodland, it is likely that archaeologically significant deposits relating to the construction, use and abandonment of the structures remain in situ.

The site has considerable potential to enhance understanding of pre-Improvement farmsteads and the daily lives of the people who occupied them. The former farmstead of Auchnahaich is a remnant of a short-lived phase of expansion in settlement in Glen Ernan during the 18th century and therefore has the potential to provide information relating to a relatively well-defined chronological period.

Contextual characteristics: The monument is a good representative of a once numerous class; Glen Ernan contains the most complete pre-Improvement agricultural landscape in Strath Don. The site was deliberately cleared by 1843 (when it is shown as unroofed on the first edition OS map), apparently in order to enhance the viability of nearby Bressachoil. Together with Lynmore and Bressachoil, the remains of Auchnahaich retain the potential to provide information on the process of Improvement in Glen Ernan. The survival of rental and other documents relating to these farmsteads at Aberdeen University and elsewhere, and census returns for the period in which they were occupied, enhance this potential. Comparison of the local vernacular architectural features in this area with those on other Scottish historic rural settlement sites may enhance our understanding of regional variation in rural settlement between the mediaeval period and the 19th century.

Associative characteristics: The monument is the product of pre-Improvement agricultural practices and a significant historical event (the Clearances). The last record of its occupation, the 1841 census, lists an agricultural labourer and his wife as living there (but these may have been subtenants of Bressachoil). Auchnahaich was cleared before 1843 and is recorded, un-named, as unroofed on the 1869 OS map. It would appear that the associated rig and furrow depicted on Roy's map has been obliterated by modern ploughing, although the land is now pasture.

The Clearances remain a prominent part of Scotland's national consciousness and that of countries to which those who had to leave there homes migrated, notably Canada, USA and Australia. The quality of the surviving documentary evidence means that it is possible for living descendants to identify the farmstead as where their ancestors lived. The sites in Glen Ernan therefore have potential in terms of genealogical tourism as well as academic research and education for schoolchildren and students in the UK.

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 pre-Improvement period and the Clearances. Its relatively good preservation and the survival of extensive historical records directly related to the monument's occupation enhances this potential. The loss of this example would impede any future ability to understand these issues and the history of Glen Ernan in particular. The monument also has a place in the national consciousness, given the strong continued interest in the UK and abroad in the Clearances of the 18th and 19th centuries.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS record this monument as NJ31SW88.


D20508 - Bressachoil:farmstead ' RCAHMS.

D20504 - Bressachoil:farmstead, building ' RCAHMS.

D20505 - Bressachoil:farmstead, building ' RCAHMS.

D20509 - Bressachoil:farmstead, building ' RCAHMS.

D20507 - Bressachoil:farmstead, building ' RCAHMS.

D20506 - Bressachoil:farmstead, building ' RCAHMS.




Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Other nearby scheduled monuments is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact for any queries related to any individual ancient or schedued monument, planning permission related to scheduled monuments or the scheduling process itself. is a Good Stuff website.