Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Henge, 135m south west of Fiodh Mhor

A Scheduled Monument in Dingwall and Seaforth, Highland

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Latitude: 57.5873 / 57°35'14"N

Longitude: -4.4931 / 4°29'35"W

OS Eastings: 251057

OS Northings: 857989

OS Grid: NH510579

Mapcode National: GBR H88N.YD3

Mapcode Global: WH3DM.YKLC

Entry Name: Henge, 135m SW of Fiodh Mhor

Scheduled Date: 5 October 2021

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM13745

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric ritual and funerary: henge

Location: Fodderty

County: Highland

Electoral Ward: Dingwall and Seaforth

Traditional County: Ross-shire


The monument comprises the remains of a henge, a ritual or ceremonial monument dating to the later Neolithic or early Bronze Age (the later third or early second millennium BC). It is visible as a low circular earthen bank enclosing a concentric ditch and inner platform with an overall diameter of approximately 21m. The monument survives in an area of mixed woodland above the River Conon and Inner Cromarty Firth, at approximately 160m above sea level.   

The scheduled area is circular, measuring 35m in diameter. It includes the remains described above and an area around within which evidence relating to the monument's construction, use and abandonment is expected to survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map. The above ground remains of post and wire fencing are excluded from this scheduling, to allow for maintenance.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The national importance of the monument is demonstrated in the following way(s) (see Designations Policy and Selection Guidance, Annex 1, para 17):

a.  The monument is of national importance because it makes a significant contribution to our understanding or appreciation of the past, or has the potential to do so. This henge is an important indicator of prehistoric activity in this region of Scotland, during the Neolithic and Early Bronze Age periods. The monument can help us understand more about prehistoric society and the nature of ceremony, ritual and belief systems.

b.   The monument retains structural attributes which make a significant contribution to our understanding or appreciation of the past. This is an upstanding earthwork with a diagnostic outer bank, ditch and inner platform present. The presence of at least one entrance feature adds to its significance as a recognised form of henge monument.

c.   This is a good example of a relatively uncommon type of prehistoric ritual monument, with just over 100 examples known of in Scotland. It can therefore help us understand the chronology, development and function of these monuments.   

e.   The monument has considerable research potential which could contribute to our understanding or appreciation of the past - it has significant archaeological interest because of its features and components as well as the artefacts and environmental remains that are likely to survive in and underneath its structure.  

f.   The monument makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the prehistoric landscape as a component of a larger complex of related, contemporary sites, reflecting settlement, agriculture, commemoration and ritual activity around the Beauly and Cromarty Firths.  

Assessment of Cultural Significance

This statement of national importance has been informed by the following assessment of cultural significance:

Intrinsic characteristics (how the remains of a site or place contribute to our knowledge of the past)

The monument survives as a low circular earthwork bank, internal ditch and central platform. The bank is up to 3.5m wide and up to 0.8m high and it surrounds an internal, concentric ditch, approximately 2m wide and up to 0.7m deep. The central, roughly level platform is up to 11m in diameter. An entrance causeway is visible in the southeast quadrant where it crosses the bank and ditch to access the central platform. An arrangement of small stones in the ditch on its northern side suggests a possible second entrance feature however this may be a much later addition. These features indicate great potential for the survival of archaeological deposits within the ditch fill, within and beneath the remnants of the upcast bank and in and under the central platform. There is likely to be valuable environmental materials contained in the buried soil layers.

The archaeological investigation of these types of monument has confirmed that significant archaeological and environmental evidence can survive in the buried layers – deposits and artefacts such as pottery, flints and animal bone as well as botanical remains create an important overall assemblage. Investigations have determined that these monuments had long development sequences and multiple phases of use. The monument and this likely archaeological assemblage can therefore help us understand much about prehistoric life - the lives, contacts, beliefs and practices of the people who built and used it; the events and ceremonies that took place here; the phases of its use and re-use and; the wider environmental conditions that prevailed when it was built and in use. Study of the monument's form and construction process compared with similar monuments would enhance our understanding of the development sequence of this site and the class of monument in general.

Contextual characteristics (how a site or place relates to its surroundings and/or to our existing knowledge of the past)

The monument belongs to a group of prehistoric ceremonial monuments which have been variously classed as henges, mini henges, henge monuments and hengi-form monuments. Researchers have indicated the difficulties in these over-simplified terms. However, the general use of the term 'henge' remains helpful in distinguishing a monument whose primary purpose is for ceremony and ritual events as opposed to settlement / domestic / agricultural or similar activity.

More than 100 so-called henges are known of in Scotland. While many are located in fertile agricultural land and survive as buried features, visible as cropmarks in aerial imagery, this example is an upstanding field monument. The known distribution of these monuments is generally in southern, eastern and northern Scotland, although further examples are known of in Argyll, Skye and Orkney. This example is part of a wide group of 11 such monuments located north of the Beauly Firth and more locally, one of six henges lying between the Beauly and Cromarty Firths including Achilty, Henge, Contin (scheduled monument reference SM1667, Canmore reference 12470); Teenagarin Cottage, henge 155m W of (scheduled monument reference SM1668, Canmore reference 12776); Castlehill, henge (scheduled monument reference SM1665, Canmore reference 12670); Dugary, henge 425m SE of (scheduled monument reference SM3403, Canmore reference 12843) and; Conon Bridge, henge 230m NE of Riverford (scheduled monument reference SM1666, Canmore reference 12781).        

The dense clustering of this local group signifies a concentration of activity in the Neolithic and early Bronze Age. Their relative proximity to each other can give an insight into the broader contemporary landscape during prehistory (complementing the group of contemporary burial monuments in the area); the social organisation of communities and their activities and the division of land.

Researchers indicate that the positioning of these monuments is carefully planned to take advantage of natural features, routeways, views and natural resources. In this example there are predominant views southwards and southeastwards towards nearby Loch Ussie and over the inner Cromarty Firth. This example occupies a relatively high position in the local landscape (at approximately 160m above sea level) when compared with the lower-lying position of the other examples in the local group.  

Associative characteristics (how a site or place relates to people, events, and/or historic and social movements)           

There are no known associative characteristics that contribute to the monument's national importance.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



Local Authority HER/SMR Reference MHG 61914 (accessed on 05/08/2021).

Bradley R, 2011, Stage and Screens. An investigation of four henge monuments in Northern and North-eastern Scotland. Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. Edinburgh.

Burl, H A W, 1969, 'Henges: internal features and regional groups' in, Archaeol J, vol. 126, 1969.

Feachem, R, 1963, A guide to prehistoric Scotland. London.

Harding and Lee, A F and G E, 1987, Henge monuments and related sites of Great Britain: air photographic evidence and catalogue, Brit Archaeol Rep, BAR British, vol. 175. Oxford.

Wainwright, G J, 1969, 'A review of henge monuments in the light of recent research' in, Proc Prehist Soc, New, vol. 35.

Woodham, A, 1955, 'Four henge monuments in Easter Ross' in, Proc Soc Antiq Scot, vol. 87, 73-6.

Younger, R K, 2015, De-henging the henge: a biographical approach to Scotland's henge monuments. PhD thesis. University of Glasgow. Glasgow.

HER/SMR Reference

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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