Ancient Monuments

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Colpy Cottage, palisaded enclosure 300m south of

A Scheduled Monument in West Garioch, Aberdeenshire

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Latitude: 57.3849 / 57°23'5"N

Longitude: -2.5978 / 2°35'51"W

OS Eastings: 364161

OS Northings: 832880

OS Grid: NJ641328

Mapcode National: GBR M9Y6.GMW

Mapcode Global: WH8N6.2N70

Entry Name: Colpy Cottage, palisaded enclosure 300m S of

Scheduled Date: 23 November 2006

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM11511

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: palisaded enclosure

Location: Culsalmond

County: Aberdeenshire

Electoral Ward: West Garioch

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire


The monument comprises an enclosed settlement of prehistoric date, visible as a cropmark on oblique aerial photographs.

The monument lies on a shallow slope 163m above sea level and 375m west of the River Urie. It lies in a cultivated field 300m S of Colpy Cottage.

The palisaded enclosure comprises a narrow ditch, circular on plan, with a diameter of 30m. To the NNE a second palisade ditch appears to run from the edge of the first. This ditch can be traced as a circular segment with a diameter of 28m.

Such palisaded enclosures are characteristic of the first half of the first millennium BC. A palisade is a timber fence of closely spaced posts set into a narrow continuous trench. There is no visible evidence of internal features but experience tells us that this type of site is likely to be a settlement. The second palisade ditch could be interpreted as either an annexe to the first enclosure or an earlier palisade enclosure.

The area to be protected is rectangular in plan and comprises the remains described and an area around them within which related material may be expected to be found, as marked in red on the accompanying map extract.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

Cultural Significance

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

Intrinsic characteristics: the monument is unexcavated and has considerable potential to enhance understanding of defended settlements in the Strathdon area, specifically palisaded enclosures. If the second palisade ditch is evidence of an earlier settlement then this would indicate a complex site with at least two phases of habitation. The excavation of this site would further enhance our knowledge of how these sites are used and the longevity of that use.

Contextual characteristics: this type of palisaded enclosure is part of a regional grouping. The addition of the second palisade ditch, either as an annexe or an earlier structure, means that this site is a rare example of a type known throughout Scotland and adds great value to palisaded enclosures in the region. It lies only 1.1km WNW of another palisade enclosure and its place in the landscape could potentially enhance our understanding of the prehistoric landscape and how people utilised it.

National Importance: The monument is of national importance because of its potential to contribute to an understanding of prehistoric settlement and economy. Its importance is increased by its proximity to other monuments of potentially contemporary date. The complexity of the site, with the second palisade ditch, means that if destroyed there would be a less potential to understand palisaded enclosures in this area.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



The monument is recorded by the RCAHMS as NJ63SW32 and by the Aberdeenshire Council SMR as NJ63SW0022.

Aerial photographs:

AAS, 1995, NJ63SW0022, Colpy, AAS/95/08/G21/8.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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