Ancient Monuments

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Contlaw Mains, hut circle 355m ENE of

A Scheduled Monument in Lower Deeside, Aberdeen City

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Coordinates

Latitude: 57.1185 / 57°7'6"N

Longitude: -2.2636 / 2°15'48"W

OS Eastings: 384138

OS Northings: 803096

OS Grid: NJ841030

Mapcode National: GBR XG.7JH0

Mapcode Global: WH9QV.6BCP

Entry Name: Contlaw Mains, hut circle 355m ENE of

Scheduled Date: 4 March 2009

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM11175

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: hut circle, roundhouse

Location: Peterculter

County: Aberdeen City

Electoral Ward: Lower Deeside

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire

Description

The monument comprises the remains of a hut circle of late Bronze-Age or Iron-Age date. It is visible as a low, grass-covered penannular stony bank. The monument lies on the NE face of Beans Hill, at around 130m above sea level.

The hut circle measures around 8.5m in diameter within a stony bank up to 3m in thickness and 0.4m in height. There is an entrance on the ENE and two probable stones from the outer face of the wall are visible on the east. A shallow ditch is visible on the south-east, measuring up to around 2m width and 0.1m deep, and appears to be broken by a causeway at the entrance. The SW side of the monument has been truncated by a later ditch, the upcast of which also forms a bank overlying this side of the monument.

The area to be scheduled is a clipped circle, centred on the monument, to include the remains described and an area around within which evidence relating to their construction and use may survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

Cultural Significance

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

Intrinsic characteristics

The monument consists of the well-preserved remains of a later prehistoric roundhouse with upstanding remains dating to the first or second millennium BC. Given the excellent preservation of the upstanding remains, it is likely that archaeologically significant deposits relating to construction, use and abandonment of the structures remain in place. In addition, it is likely that deposits sealed below the surface survive and these could provide data relating to the later prehistoric environment. The site has considerable potential to enhance our understanding of later prehistoric roundhouses and the daily lives of the people who occupied them.

Contextual characteristics

The monument is a representative of a fairly common class of later prehistoric remains in Aberdeenshire, but such monuments rarely survive in a lowland setting. Much of the surrounding lowland landscape has been heavily improved and this monument's importance is enhanced by its fortuitous survival. The hut-circle's importance is enhanced by its location. A high number of prehistoric and later remains survive on Beans hill, and this monument's proximity to other prehistoric remains, some of which may be contemporaneous with it, enhances its value as part of the wider relict landscape. Together with other lowland roundhouses, this hut circle can contribute to our understanding of the nature of later prehistoric settlement and its chronological, economic and social relationship to similar settlements in the uplands.

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 Bronze- or Iron-Age society and the nature of later prehistoric domestic and agricultural practice. The good preservation and the survival of marked field characteristics enhance this potential. The loss of this example would significantly impede our ability to understand later prehistoric societies in Aberdeenshire in particular and Scotland in general.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Sources

Bibliography

RCAHMS record the monument as NJ80SW 50.25, Beans Hill: hut circle.

References:

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

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Other nearby scheduled monuments

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