Ancient Monuments

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Braes of Fintoch, shieling group 760m south west of Cairn of Gilderoy

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

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Latitude: 57.1363 / 57°8'10"N

Longitude: -3.0553 / 3°3'19"W

OS Eastings: 336223

OS Northings: 805536

OS Grid: NJ362055

Mapcode National: GBR WF.4FQ5

Mapcode Global: WH7N0.1WCM

Entry Name: Braes of Fintoch, shieling group 760m SW of Cairn of Gilderoy

Scheduled Date: 21 March 2007

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM11668

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Secular: shieling

Location: Strathdon

County: Aberdeenshire

Electoral Ward: Aboyne, Upper Deeside and Donside

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire


The monument comprises a well-preserved group of shieling huts and associated animal pens or enclosures of the later medieval to post-medieval period. It is located in an area of upland grouse moor on the lower slopes of Mullachdubh, above the Deskry Water.

This shieling site consists of a group of four huts and five pens defined by the tumbled footings of what have probably been drystone and turf walls. The sub-rectangular huts measure up to 7m long by 3.5m wide, within walls spread to up to 1.2m thick and surviving 0.6m high. The easternmost hut is a two-celled structure.

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.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

Cultural Significance

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

Intrinsic characteristics: The various elements of this monument are in a relatively good state of preservation. They are upstanding and clearly visible in the landscape. The continued landuse as pasture and now as grouse moor has probably resulted in the preservation of further archaeological deposits within the structures and enclosures. It therefore has the potential to reveal further information about local variations in vernacular architecture and building use, as well as upland landuse in Strathdon in the period before the agricultural improvements of the 18th century.

Contextual characteristics: As a well-preserved cluster of shieling huts and associated annexes and enclosures, this represents a class of site which to date has been the subject of relatively little archaeological research, but which together with other historic rural settlement sites in the region have the potential to illuminate the practice of transhumance in medieval and later rural communities.

Associative characteristics: With the physical evidence of pre-Improvement settlement in the valleys largely removed by later activity, upland shieling sites such as this are increasingly rare monuments to a way of life and a once much larger rural population swept away by the 18th and early 19th century Clearances.

National importance: This monument is of national importance because it is a well-preserved rural settlement site. To date such sites have been the subject of relatively little archaeological research, but they have the potential to make a significant contribution to our knowledge of upland landuse and society in this locality and, by association, the rest of Scotland in the later medieval to post-medieval period. The loss of the site would erode our ability to understand these issues and detract from the historic landscape of Western Strathdon, which preserves tangible evidence of the way of life prior to the age of agricultural improvement.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS record the monument as NJ30NE 49.



Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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