Ancient Monuments

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Kirkton of Bourtie, stone circle 250m WNW of

A Scheduled Monument in Mid Formartine, Aberdeenshire

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Latitude: 57.3141 / 57°18'50"N

Longitude: -2.3321 / 2°19'55"W

OS Eastings: 380093

OS Northings: 824884

OS Grid: NJ800248

Mapcode National: GBR N9LD.B9Y

Mapcode Global: WH8NQ.4FQ9

Entry Name: Kirkton of Bourtie, stone circle 250m WNW of

Scheduled Date: 17 August 1925

Last Amended: 22 March 2002

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM26

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric ritual and funerary: stone circle or ring

Location: Bourtie

County: Aberdeenshire

Electoral Ward: Mid Formartine

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire


The monument comprises the remains of a stone circle of prehistoric date, visible as a series of upstanding or prostrate stones. Stone settings of this type are characteristic of the Neolithic (Stone Age). The monument was first scheduled in 1925. It is being rescheduled in order to clarify the extent of the scheduled area.

The monument is situated in arable ground on the crest of a hill shoulder at an altitude of c. 157m OD. It commands an open aspect to the W, but has rising ground to the E and the Hill of Barra to the N.

The remains of the stone circle comprises: two upright stones; one recumbent stone; one pillar stone; and one smaller stone next to the pillar. A projected arc based on the positions of these stones would indicate the original diameter of the circle to have been c. 18m. The recumbent stone, now broken, was originally c. 5m long, and is c. 1.9m high by c.1m broad, positioned on a definite mound. The pillar stone is c.3m high by about 3m in girth; the other two stones stand c. 1.8m and 2.4m high, and are each c. 4m in girth.

The area to be scheduled comprises the remains described and an area around them within which related material may be expected to be found. It is circular in shape, with a diameter of 40m, as marked in red on the accompanying map extract.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance because of its potential to contribute to an understanding of prehistoric ritual practices. Its importance is increased by its proximity to other monuments of potentially contemporary date.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



The monument is recorded in RCAHMS as NJ 82 SW 2.

Photographs used:

RCAHMS 1996 C56434 NJ 82 SW 2 Kirkton of Bourtie stone circle: recumbent.


Burl, H A W 1973 'The recumbent stone circles of North'East Scotland', Pro. Soc. Antiq. Scot., 102, 1969'70, 60, 76, 78.

Burl, H. A. W. (1976) The stone circles of the British Isles, London and New Haven, 168, 174, 352.

Coles, F R 1902 'Report on the stone circles in Aberdeenshire (Inverurie, Eastern Parishes, and Insch District), with measured plans and drawings, obtained under the Gunning Fellowship', Proc. Soc. Antiq. Scot., 36, 1901'2, 513, 516.

Name Book (County) Original Name Books of the Ordnance Survey Aberdeenshire, no. 10 (1867), 36.

Thom, A 1967 Megalithic sites in Britain, Oxford, No. B1/7.

Thom, A., Thom, A. S, and Burl, H A W 1980 ' Megalithic rings: plans and data for 229 monuments in Britain', Brit Archaeol Rep, Brit Ser, 81, Oxford, 164'5.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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