Ancient Monuments

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Newe's Craig, still 3950m north east of Morven Lodge

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

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Latitude: 57.1383 / 57°8'18"N

Longitude: -3.0478 / 3°2'51"W

OS Eastings: 336685

OS Northings: 805757

OS Grid: NJ366057

Mapcode National: GBR WF.49CK

Mapcode Global: WH7N0.4VY1

Entry Name: Newe's Craig, still 3950m NE of Morven Lodge

Scheduled Date: 27 September 2007

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM11469

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Industrial: distilling

Location: Strathdon

County: Aberdeenshire

Electoral Ward: Aboyne, Upper Deeside and Donside

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire


The monument comprises a small, sunken hut interpreted as the site of an illicit still dating to the 18th or early 19th centuries. It is characteristically isolated and well concealed, in a small gully to the NW of the Deskry Water, and with a good supply of water.

The structure measures 3.5 m from NE-SW by 3 m transversely, within revetting drystone walls around 0.7 m thick and at least 1.2 m high. It is well-preserved, apart from its N wall, which has collapsed, partially filling the interior with loose stones. Presumably, this tumble of stones obscures steps down into the hut from an entrance in the NE side. The sound of running water from beneath the interior rubble suggests that they built the hut on the site of a spring issuing from the base of the hillslope to the N.

The area to be scheduled is circular on plan, centred on the structure, to include the remains described and an area around in which evidence relating to its construction and use may survive, as marked 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 is in a relatively good state of preservation and visible in the landscape. It is characteristically isolated and well hidden in a gully and with a good source of water. Its construction over the site of a spring makes the monument particularly distinctive. The continued landuse as pasture, and now also as grouse moor, has probably resulted in the preservation of further archaeological deposits within the structure. It therefore has the potential to reveal further information about the construction and use of illicit local still huts in the 18th and early 19th centuries.

Contextual characteristics: As a clearly identifiable and relatively well-preserved example, the site has the potential to add to the knowledge of this covert, rural industry and the attitude to authority in 18th and early 19th century rural communities in NE Scotland. It can be compared and contrasted to other such sites, both in the region (such as the published examples on the Mar Lodge Estate) and nationally.

Associative characteristics: The site comprises rare, tangible remains of an illicit rural industry which looms large in the folklore of the Highlands.

National Importance

The monument is of national importance because it has an inherent potential to make a significant addition to the understanding of rural industry and society in this locality and, by association, the rest of Scotland during the 18th century and early 19th century. It is a well-preserved example of a rare site type (uncommon both in the region and across Scotland). Unusually, the site possesses characteristics, other than its location, to suggest its specialised use. The loss of the site would erode our ability to physically demonstrate a popular facet of Highland history.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS record this monument as NJ30NE36.



Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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