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Heugh, homestead moat and earthworks 500m SSE of

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

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Latitude: 57.0949 / 57°5'41"N

Longitude: -2.9133 / 2°54'47"W

OS Eastings: 344756

OS Northings: 800805

OS Grid: NJ447008

Mapcode National: GBR WL.72TG

Mapcode Global: WH7N8.6XYV

Entry Name: Heugh, homestead moat and earthworks 500m SSE of

Scheduled Date: 31 May 1989

Last Amended: 21 March 2007

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM4686

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Secular: homestead moat

Location: Logie-Coldstone

County: Aberdeenshire

Electoral Ward: Aboyne, Upper Deeside and Donside

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire


The monument comprises the remains of a moated homestead, probably of later medieval date, surviving as a series of earthworks in an improved field at around 170 m above sea level. It lies on the edge of Loch Davan, where it meets the Monandauan Burn.

The homestead is oval on plan and is located within an area of woodland. A series of earthworks to the north are interpreted as associated evidence for fishponds and possibly reclaimed marshes. The only dry approach is on the NE, where a possible entrance and a possible hollow-way are visible. The interior of the moated area measures around 80 m by 50 m and a stone structure has been noted within it. The interior is surrounded by a moat, about 8 m wide, contained by a substantial bank, with stone footings, which is around 14 m in maximum width and 1.7 m in maximum height.

The area to be scheduled is an irregular shape on plan, to include the homestead moat and an area around in which evidence for its construction and use may survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map. The above-ground remains of the modern field boundaries and top 0.3 m of the existing track 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 historical significance can be expressed as follows:

Intrinsic characteristics: The monument is an example of a well-preserved moated homestead, with upstanding remains probably dating to the later medieval period. The monument lies in woodland and survives as a moated enclosure and associated earthworks and features. There is a strong likelihood that archaeological deposits associated with the monument's construction, use and abandonment are preserved, particularly in the moat, which seems to have been fed by a complex of three feeder ponds and sluice gates. The potential for recovery of waterlogged deposits, including palaeoenvironmental evidence, is high. The evidence for a water sluice, fishponds and possibly reclaimed marshland mark this monument as a particularly rare and important example.

The site has considerable potential to enhance understanding of medieval moated homesteads and the daily lives of the people who occupied them. A piece of medieval green-glazed pottery found on the surface in the sluice suggests a 13th- or 14th-century date. The site lies within what was the lordship of Cromar, within the earldom of Mar. The associated historic records suggest that the site has the potential to provide information relating to a period of several hundred years.

Contextual characteristics: Moated homesteads are a type of medieval fortified site, now characterised through earthwork remains or cropmarks. They are relatively rare in Scotland, with 122 known sites (compared to more than 5300 in England and Wales and over 750 in Ireland). Thirty-three (27%) of the Scottish sites are to be found in the Grampian region. They are important because they mark local centres of lordship during the feudalisation of Scotland; and in some cases these centres may have an earlier medieval origin. Relatively few examples survive as upstanding monuments as their earthworks are usually modest in nature and they tend to be located in good agricultural land. This often results in loss from ploughing.

There is a concentration of moated sites in Central Aberdeenshire with examples at Kinbattoch, Roundabout (now ploughed away), Caskieben, Castle of Lesmoir, Lumphanan and Fichlie. Heugh shares with the massive Doune of Invernochty, seat of the Earls of Mar before the construction of Kildrummy Castle, the exploitation of natural water sources to augment defences. This concentration of homestead moats may relate to, and give insights into, the feudalisation of this part of Scotland.

Associative characteristics: Heugh moated homestead has been identified by some as Hall of Logy Rothwayne, which was the headquarters of Sir Andrew de Moray, Regent of Scotland, during the Battle of Culbean, in November 1335. David de Strathbogie, Earl of Atholl, acting for Edward Balliol, had besieged Kildrummy Castle, which was being held in the national cause by Lady Christian Bruce, aunt of King David II. Atholl was defeated and slain in the battle.

There are historical records pertaining to the site or its estate dating to the 14th, 16th and 17th centuries. If the association with Hall of Logy Rothwayne is correct, then the first historical mention of the site is in 1335. The next time it is mentioned is in 1363. It falls within the lordship of Cromar in the earldom of Mar, which was split into two estates by the 16th century. In 1503, James IV granted Davan, where this site lay, to his household servant Sir John Forman, whose successor sold the land to the Earl of Huntly in 1517. In 1618, Robert Duguid resigned the lands, including 'the manor place where once was the fortalice' to Alexander Irvine of Drum.

National Importance

The monument is of national importance because it has an inherent potential to inform us of the construction techniques, defences and domestic life of a medieval moated homestead. It may also shed light on the extent and nature of the feudalisation of Scotland, particularly the NE of Scotland. The concentration of this monument type in central Aberdeenshire may relate to the specific nature of this process in this area and perhaps the particular role and influence of the earls of Mar. The site's relatively good preservation and the survival of extensive historical records relating directly and indirectly to the monument's occupation enhances this potential.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS record the monument as NJ40SW2.


Bogdan N and Bryce I B D 1991,, 'Castles, Manors and 'Town Houses' Survey', Discovery Excav Scotland 32.

Coleman R J et al 2002, 'A Management Study of Moated Sites in Grampian', unpublished manuscript, SUAT Ltd, for Historic Scotland.

Irving D et al 1999, 'Loch Davan (Logie-Coldstone parish): Medieval moated homestead', Discovery Excav Scot 10.

McNeill P G B and MacQueen H L 1996, Atlas of Scottish History to 1707, Edinburgh.

Simpson W D 1929, 'The Early Castles of Mar', Proc Soc Antiq Scot 63, 102-38.

Simpson W D 1930, 'The Campaigns and Battle of Culbean, AD 1335', Proc Soc Antiq Scot 64, 201-211.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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