Ancient Monuments

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Standing stones, 170m north west of Druid Barn

A Scheduled Monument in Ardrossan and Arran, North Ayrshire

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Latitude: 55.5749 / 55°34'29"N

Longitude: -5.3478 / 5°20'52"W

OS Eastings: 189053

OS Northings: 636332

OS Grid: NR890363

Mapcode National: GBR FF5Z.H5M

Mapcode Global: WH1MT.T4MK

Entry Name: Standing stones, 170m NW of Druid Barn

Scheduled Date: 29 July 1953

Last Amended: 19 August 2020

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM393

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric ritual and funerary: standing stone

Location: Kilmory

County: North Ayrshire

Electoral Ward: Ardrossan and Arran

Traditional County: Buteshire


The monument comprises two prehistoric standing stones, one now fallen. The standing stones likely date from the late Neolithic or Bronze Age periods (between 3800 and 2500 BC). The erect stone is around 5m high, 0.3m thick and 1.8m wide. The fallen stone, lying adjacent and now broken into three pieces, measures around 5m long in total and 1.5m wide. The stones are located on a flat, agricultural, coastal plain around 400m from the coastline.  

The scheduled area is circular, measuring 15m in diameter. It includes the remains described above and an area around within which evidence relating to the monument's construction, use and abandonment is expected to survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The national importance of the monument is demonstrated in the following way(s) (see Designations Policy and Selection Guidance, Annex 1, para 17):

a.  The monument is of national importance because it makes a significant contribution to our understanding or appreciation of the past. Standing stones are one of the main sources of evidence for the Neolithic in Scotland and so are important in our understanding of the nature of Scotland's prehistoric society and landscape. The example contributes to our understanding of the design, construction and siting of prehistoric ritual monuments in the Neolithic period.  

b.   The monument retains structural, architectural, decorative or other physical attributes which make a significant contribution to our understanding or appreciation of the past.  In particular, the standing stones retain impressive field characteristics due to their scale.  There is also potential for the survival of buried archaeological deposits which can contribute to our understanding of the meaning and importance of ritual in the Neolithic period.

c.   The monument is a rare example of standing stones of a massive scale: it is uncommon for such monuments to stand to this height.

d.   The monument is a particularly good example of a pair of standing stones and is therefore an important representative of this monument type. It can enhance our understanding of Neolithic society and economy, as well as the nature of burial and ceremonial practices and belief systems.

e.   The monument has research potential which could significantly contribute to our understanding or appreciation of the past. The form of the monument can be researched, contrasted and compared with other monuments of this type. The remains of the monument have the potential to provide material for carbon dating which when compared with similar monuments could contribute to a better understanding of the chronological development of standing stone construction during this period of Scottish prehistory. Additionally, there is the potential for environmental material to survive around the base of the standing stones which could provide information on demographics, land use and environment.  

f.   The monument makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the prehistoric landscape of Arran; it is located to the north west of the rich prehistoric landscape of Machrie Moor  Standing stones are found in a variety of locations in the west of Scotland, and the siting of these ritual monuments can give important insights into the Neolithic landscape and add to our understanding of social organisation.

Assessment of Cultural Significance

This statement of national importance has been informed by the following assessment of cultural significance:

Intrinsic characteristics (how the remains of a site or place contribute to our knowledge of the past)

The standing stones are of a notable size. The scale of the standing example is impressive and among the tallest in the west of Scotland. The fallen stone is likely to be situated on the spot, or at least within very close proximity to, where it originally stood. It is probable that it broke into three pieces when it fell to the ground.

There is likely to have been Neolithic Age activity in the vicinity of the standing stones. Examples of standing stones that have undergone detailed scientific analysis provide evidence for ritual and ceremonial activities taking place around the stone, this monument has the potential to yield such information. Therefore, archaeology related to use and activities around the fallen stone is also likely to survive.

In some excavated examples, such as at Carlinwell, Angus (scheduled monument reference SM4315, Canmore ID 32362) inhumations or cremation burials have been found placed around standing stones and this includes skeletal material as well as urns and grave goods. Surviving environmental remains can help us understand more about the vegetation cover and land use at the time of its erection and then use.

Contextual characteristics (how a site or place relates to its surroundings and/or to our existing knowledge of the past)

Standing stones are a widespread class of monument across Scotland. This example sits within a level coastal plain, with hills behind and a view across to the sea, some 400m distant. There are four other recorded standing stones or stone circles within 4km of this example. The closest example is approximately 2.5km southeast of the monument - Machrie Farm, standing stone 1100m NE of (Scheduled Monument reference SM4430 and Canmore ID reference 39759). Other broadly contemporary, and possibly related, monuments in the area include burial cairns. A nearby example, only 3km south-southeast of this monument is Tormore, long cairn 875m SSE of Crochandoon (scheduled monument reference SM407 and Canmore ID reference 39779). The area of Machrie Moor is around 4km southeast and is the location of a concentration of prehistoric ritual and burial sites. There are other examples of standing stones in that area and some are of similar scale to these examples.

The position of these standing stones may have been deliberately chosen to take advantage of routeways, views and intervisibility with other monuments. There is potential to study this monument and its relationship to other prehistoric monuments in the landscape.

Associative characteristics (how a site or place relates to people, events, and/or historic and social movements)

There are currently no known associative characteristics that contribute to the national importance of the monument.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



Historic Environment Scotland reference number CANMORE ID 39210 (accessed on 24/02/2020).


Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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