Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Huntly Market Square, symbol stone and standing stone

A Scheduled Monument in Huntly, Strathbogie and Howe of Alford, Aberdeenshire

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Latitude: 57.4477 / 57°26'51"N

Longitude: -2.7861 / 2°47'10"W

OS Eastings: 352917

OS Northings: 839986

OS Grid: NJ529399

Mapcode National: GBR M9H1.6DJ

Mapcode Global: WH7LS.52JB

Entry Name: Huntly Market Square, symbol stone and standing stone

Scheduled Date: 21 March 1935

Last Amended: 28 February 1997

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM73

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Crosses and carved stones: symbol stone; Prehistoric ritual and funerary: standing stone

Location: Huntly

County: Aberdeenshire

Electoral Ward: Huntly, Strathbogie and Howe of Alford

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire


The monument comprises the remaining members of a group of 6 standing stones, one of which is decorated with a weathered symbol. The monument was scheduled in 1935, but the documentation was defective, and is remedied by the present rescheduling.

The 2 standing stones that survive set into the ground on the N side of the Square in Huntly are all that remain of the Standing Stanes of Strathbogie, which are recorded as having at one time comprised 6 stones forming a circle, 40-50 ft (12.2-15.25m) in diameter. There is a record of a court being held at the Stones in 1557, and in 1594 they were the rendezvous point for the Earls of Argyll, Huntly and Errol on the eve of the Battle of Glenlivet. All but 3 were removed when the Duke of Richmond's statue was erected in 1862, the third (now lost) having survived for a while close by a house flanking the E side of the S half of the Square.

The 2 surviving stones stand adjacent to the N side of the base of the Duke of Richmond's statue. The eastern stone is an irregular block of whinstone (1 x 0.76 x 0.45m), decorated with an incised horse-shoe symbol, which is now virtually indistinguishable.

The scheduled monument comprises only the 2 stones themselves, as indicated in red on the accompanying map extract.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The two stones are a monument of national importance because they appear to represent the surviving remains, albeit not in situ, of a prehistoric religious monument that was still a focus for attention in Pictish times, besides being rich in later historical associations.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



J. Stuart, The Sculpture Stones of Scotland (Spalding Club, 1856), 41.

J. Romilly Allen, ECMS, part III (Edinburgh 1903), 166.

RCAHMS, Pictish Symbol Stones: A Handlist (Edinburgh 1994), 9. T. S. Watt, Aberdeen Press and Journal (30 Jan. 1935).

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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