Ancient Monuments

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Culfork, farmstead 155m SSE of

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

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Latitude: 57.1893 / 57°11'21"N

Longitude: -2.9028 / 2°54'9"W

OS Eastings: 345535

OS Northings: 811299

OS Grid: NJ455112

Mapcode National: GBR WL.154W

Mapcode Global: WH7MW.CKZH

Entry Name: Culfork, farmstead 155m SSE of

Scheduled Date: 21 March 2007

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM11752

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Secular: farmstead

Location: Towie

County: Aberdeenshire

Electoral Ward: Aboyne, Upper Deeside and Donside

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire


The monument comprises the remains of a post-medieval farmstead or small fermtoun and a sample of an associated field system, situated in a field of rough grazing on the east bank of the Burn of Culfork. It is located about 80m SE of the abandoned farmsteading of Culfork, at an altitude of 290m OD.

The farmstead, sited on a terrace above the burn, survives as the turf-covered footings of a linear group of seven buildings. The walls of the buildings are 0.55-0.65m thick and up to 0.5m high. The buildings vary from 5.8m to 25 m in length and from 3.2m to 4.5m in width overall. Sub-divisions of, and outshots to, the buildings are in evidence. The group of buildings, which are not depicted on the Ordnance Survey First Edition map of 1870, lie at the foot of what may be a contemporary field system extending along the NW flank of Frosty Hill. This consists of a series of parallel linear ridges running downslope and probably representing lynchets or the edges of strip fields. A curving bank bounds the upper limit of these relic cultivation strips. A representative portion of this field system is to be included in the scheduling.

The area to be scheduled is an irregular polygon on plan, bounded on the W by the course of the Burn of Culfork, to include the visible remains and an area around in which associated evidence may survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map. The scheduling excludes the modern post-and-wire fence running along its S side, to allow for its maintenance.

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 farmstead or small fermtoun are in a relatively good state of preservation. They are upstanding and clearly visible in the landscape. The continued landuse as pasture has probably resulted in the preservation of archaeological deposits within and around the buildings. It therefore has the potential to provide further detailed information about local variations in vernacular architecture and building use, as well as upland landuse in the period immediately prior to the agricultural improvements in Strathdon in the 18th century.

Contextual characteristics: The remains of this pre-Improvement settlement 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 settlement and economy of NE Scotland in the post-medieval period. The ability to physically demonstrate at Culfork, the development from a pre-Improvement agricultural settlement to a later, Improvement-period farmhouse, steading and field system further enhances the value of the site.

National Importance

This monument is of national importance because it is a well-preserved example of a pre-Improvement upland farmstead or small fermtoun. It therefore has the potential to reveal further information about local variations in vernacular architecture and building use, as well as upland land use prior to the agricultural improvements in Strathdon in the 18th century. The sample of the associated field system is important because it preserves the relationship of the buildings to the immediate archaeological landscape. The loss of the site would affect our ability to appreciate and understand 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 NJ40NW 49 and the field system as NJ41SE 19.

Aerial photographs:

RCAHMS D 35594 Oblique aerial view of Culfork centred on a sheepfold with a cairn, buildings and farmstead adjacent, taken from WSW. Date: 08.10.1998


OS 1st edition survey of Aberdeenshire (6 inch series, sheet lxi, 1870).


Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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