Ancient Monuments

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Upperton, ring-ditches 735m, 775m, 875m, 995m and 1095m north east of

A Scheduled Monument in Aboyne, Upper Deeside and Donside, Aberdeenshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 57.2533 / 57°15'11"N

Longitude: -3.0446 / 3°2'40"W

OS Eastings: 337072

OS Northings: 818546

OS Grid: NJ370185

Mapcode National: GBR L9VK.210

Mapcode Global: WH7MF.6YFG

Entry Name: Upperton, ring-ditches 735m, 775m, 875m, 995m and 1095m NE of

Scheduled Date: 27 September 2007

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM11590

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: hut circle, roundhouse

Location: Glenbuchat

County: Aberdeenshire

Electoral Ward: Aboyne, Upper Deeside and Donside

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire

Description

The monument comprises a group of five ring-ditch houses of prehistoric date. The ring-ditches (near circular ditched enclosures) are visible as upstanding features strung out along the southern lower slopes of Creag an Sgor.

The easternmost house measures about 8m in diameter within a stony bank up to 1.5m in thickness and 0.3m in height. The entrance is on the SE and is flanked by large stones. In the interior there are the remains of a very shallow ring-ditch, which is best defined on the S. The next house is about 140m W and downslope of the former. It measures about 9m in diameter within a wall reduced to a stony bank up to 1.5m in thickness and 0.2m in height and has an entrance on the SSE. A number of outer facing-stones are visible on the N. The N part of the interior has been scooped into the natural slope to a depth of at least 0.5m, but there are also traces of an internal ring-ditch which is best defined on the E, measuring up to 2.5m in breadth. About 125m to the SE is situated the third ring-ditch which is slightly dug into the slope. It has an internal diameter of 9m and a bank 3m wide, which is best preserved on the S (downslope), where it survives to a height of 0.3m.

About 110m SE from the third house there are a pair of ring-ditches 26m apart. The NE house measures about 8.6m in diameter within a wall reduced to a thick stony bank, and there is an entrance on the S. On the NW the bank measures up to 2.2m in thickness and 0.4m in height, but where both inner and outer facing-stones are present on the W, the original thickness of the wall is about 1m. A number of outer facing-stones are also visible on the SE. In the SW half of the interior, a ditch up to 2.9m in breadth and 0.2m in depth is visible immediately within the line of the wall. The SW house measures 7.1m in diameter within a bank up to 2.5m in thickness and 0.2m in height, and there is an entrance on the S. Immediately within the interior there is a concentric ditch, measuring up to 2.2m in breadth and 0.15m in depth.

The area to be scheduled has five separate components, each circular on plan and centred on an individual ring-ditch, as shown in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

Cultural significance

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

Intrinsic characteristics: The monument consists of a group of five well-preserved later prehistoric ring-ditch houses. In each example, the remains of the ditch and bank are visible on the ground. Given the area's current use as managed grouse moorland, it is likely that archaeologically significant deposits relating to the construction, use and abandonment of the structures remain in place. The site has considerable potential to enhance understanding of later prehistoric roundhouses and the daily lives of the people who occupied them. It may have been occupied for a long period of time, or on a seasonal basis.

Contextual characteristics: The monument is a good representative of what may have once been a numerous class; the rarity of such sites in the area may be due to poor survival as a result of intensive agricultural practices since the later prehistoric period. As a group of ring- ditches the monument has the potential to provide information on later prehistoric settlement patterns. Comparison of local architectural features in this area with those of other prehistoric roundhouses in Scotland may enhance our understanding of regional variation in later prehistoric settlement.

National Importance

The monument is of national importance because it has an inherent potential to make a significant addition to the understanding of the past, in particular the later prehistoric period. This potential is enhanced by the relatively good preservation and its group value. Loss or damage of the monument would affect our ability to understand the development of later prehistoric architecture, society, economy in Scotland in general and the prehistory of western Strathdon in particular.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Sources

Bibliography

RCAHMS record the monument as NJ31NE 15 and NJ31NE 81; Aberdeenshire Council SMR as NJ31NE0020.

Aerial photographs:

RCAHMS, 1998 D 28341, Creagh an Sgor.

RCAHMS, 1998 D 28343, Creagh an Sgor.

RCAHMS, 1998 D 28344, Creagh an Sgor.

References:

RCAHMS 2007, IN THE SHADOW OF BENNACHIE: THE FIELD ARCHAEOLOGY OF DONSIDE, ABERDEENSHIRE, Edinburgh: Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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