Ancient Monuments

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Auldtown, burnt mound 640m south west of

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

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Latitude: 57.1748 / 57°10'29"N

Longitude: -2.9349 / 2°56'5"W

OS Eastings: 343573

OS Northings: 809712

OS Grid: NJ435097

Mapcode National: GBR WK.2439

Mapcode Global: WH7MV.WXMM

Entry Name: Auldtown, burnt mound 640m SW of

Scheduled Date: 21 March 2007

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM11762

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: burnt mound

Location: Towie

County: Aberdeenshire

Electoral Ward: Aboyne, Upper Deeside and Donside

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire


The monument comprises a burnt mound, a prehistoric site generally thought to be associated with food preparation. It lies at a height of approximately 375m OD, immediately to the S of the source of a small burn that springs from the E face of the ridge that forms the N flank of Baderonach Hill.

The burnt mound survives as a heather and turf-covered mound, roughly oval on plan, with a central hollow. The mound measures 9.2m from E-W by 8 m transversely and up to 1.2m in height. The mound stands highest either side of the hollow, which is 4m long by 2.2m wide. The N side of the mound is slightly concave, respecting the natural hollow from which the spring emanates.

On excavation burnt mound sites typically reveal heaps of burnt and fire-cracked stones mixed with charcoal-bearing soil. The stones were heated on adjacent hearths and dropped into a water-filled pit or trough to boil water. Such sites are invariably sited close by a source of water. Interpretations vary, but they are generally thought to be cooking places and the great majority of dated, excavated examples in the N of Scotland have proved themselves to be of Bronze Age date, although any date from the later Neolithic to the early medieval period is possible.

The area to be scheduled is circular on plan, to include the visible remains and an area around in which evidence relating to the construction and use of the site may be expected to 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 monument is in a good state of preservation. It is upstanding and clearly visible in the landscape and preserves all of the field characteristics of this class of site. The continued landuse as pasture and now as grouse moor has probably resulted in the preservation of high quality archaeological deposits within and adjacent to the burnt mound. It therefore has the potential to reveal further information about the local economy, diet and food preparation in the later prehistoric period.

Contextual characteristics: As a well-preserved burnt mound, probably Bronze Age in date, the monument is an intrinsic part of the pattern of later prehistoric rural settlement and landuse. It has the potential to reveal much about the economy, diet and food preparation practices in the later prehistoric communities of NE Scotland. Comparing and contrasting it to other burnt mounds in the locality and those outside the region aids an understanding of regional economy and society.

National Importance

This monument is of national importance because it appears to be particularly well preserved. It has 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 prehistoric period. The loss of this rare, well-preserved example in this area would affect our future ability to understand these issues.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS record this monument as NJ40NW49.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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