Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Marnoch Church, standing stones

A Scheduled Monument in Banff and District, Aberdeenshire

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Latitude: 57.5406 / 57°32'26"N

Longitude: -2.6746 / 2°40'28"W

OS Eastings: 359713

OS Northings: 850249

OS Grid: NJ597502

Mapcode National: GBR M8RS.PGV

Mapcode Global: WH7L7.WQKP

Entry Name: Marnoch Church, standing stones

Scheduled Date: 16 June 1922

Last Amended: 23 February 2001

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM342

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric ritual and funerary: standing stone

Location: Marnoch

County: Aberdeenshire

Electoral Ward: Banff and District

Traditional County: Banffshire


The monument comprises two standing stones of prehistoric date. It was first scheduled in 1927, but is being rescheduled in order to clarify the extent of the scheduled area.

The monument consists of two upright slabs of stone, at a height of around 250m OD. The first of these is known locally as 'St. Marnan's Chair, a local tradition existing which suggests that St. Marnan preached there in the 7th century AD. This standing stone sits upon the top of a hill within the churchyard of Marnoch Church. It is located approximately 7m from the church building, and is 2.5m in height. The second of the two standing stones is located just outwith the churchyard, to the N of the boundary wall and in the vicinity of a farm steading. It is considerably smaller than the other, measuring c. 1.5m in height. It is possible that both standing stones represent the remains of a stone circle which once stood in the vicinity. Of these two survivors, the larger stone may remain in situ, though it has been suggested that the smaller example may not be in its original location. Standing stones and stone circles date to the late Neolithic or the early Bronze Age, and are associated with ritual activity, in some cases having human remains buried in the ground adjacent to their bases.

The area proposed for scheduling comprises the remains described and an area around them within which related material may be expected to be found. It consists of two circular areas, each measuring 5m in diameter, and centred upon each standing stone.

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 further enhanced by the fact that it is located near to other monuments of similar date and function, which together represents the fragments of a prehistoric ritual landscape in the valley of the Deveron.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



The monument is recorded by RCAHMS as NJ 55 SE 6.


Coles, F. R. (1906) 'Report on Stone Circles Surveyed in the North-East of Scotland, chiefly in Banffshire, with Measured Plans & Drawings, obtained Under the Gunning Fellowship', IN Proc. Soc. Antiq. Scot. Vol. 40, 164-206.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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