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Burn of Badanseaneach, shieling group 2140m WNW of Balronald

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

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Coordinates

Latitude: 57.1539 / 57°9'14"N

Longitude: -3.0007 / 3°0'2"W

OS Eastings: 339560

OS Northings: 807451

OS Grid: NJ395074

Mapcode National: GBR WH.37PJ

Mapcode Global: WH7N0.WG92

Entry Name: Burn of Badanseaneach, shieling group 2140m WNW of Balronald

Scheduled Date: 21 March 2007

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM11472

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: hut circle, roundhouse; Secular: shieling

Location: Logie-Coldstone

County: Aberdeenshire

Electoral Ward: Aboyne, Upper Deeside and Donside

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire

Description

The monument comprises a well-preserved group of shieling huts and small associated enclosures of the later medieval to post-medieval period ranged around a larger oval enclosure (associated with an adjacent hut circle of prehistoric date). The monument is located on heather moorland at 400 m OD.

This complex shieling site consists of a group of interconnecting sub-rectangular or oval huts and small enclosures within and without a larger enclosure. Shielings are associated with the seasonal use of upland pastures. The huts are defined by the footings of what have probably been drystone and turf walls and clearly represent more than one period of construction. It is likely that the stone wall of the large enclosure, which measures approximately 21 m E-W by 25 m N-S is one of the earliest elements of the site and possibly associated with a hut circle located on the S side of the group of shieling huts. The hut-circle measures 7 m in diameter overall.

The area to be scheduled is circular on plan, centred on the centre of the shieling group, to include the shieling huts, enclosures and hut circle and an area around in which evidence relating to their construction and use may survive, as marked 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 multi-period 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 from the later prehistoric period through to the agricultural improvements in Strathdon in the 18th century.

Contextual characteristics: As a well-preserved hut circle, this element of the monument has the potential to reveal much about house building and the domestic life of later prehistoric communities in NE Scotland. It can be compared and contrasted to nearby upland hut circles, with and without associated enclosures, and also to lowland cropmark sites. The adjacent enclosure, possibly associated with the hut circle, adds to the research potential of the site. The superimposed cluster of shieling huts and their associated annexes or pens ranged around the enclosure 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 has an inherent potential to make a significant contribution to the understanding of upland landuse and society in this locality and, by association, the rest of Scotland, from the later prehistoric period through to the end of the 18th century. It is a well-preserved, multi-period rural settlement site of a type which is rare both in this region and nationally. 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

Sources

Bibliography

RCAHMS record the monument as NJ30NE56.

References:

RCAHMS 2007, IN THE SHADOW OF BENNACHIE: THE FIELD ARCHAEOLOGY OF DONSIDE, ABERDEENSHIRE, Edinburgh: Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Other nearby scheduled monuments

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