Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing – see ‘About Listed Buildings’ below for more information.


Status: Designated


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Date Added
Local Authority
Planning Authority
Crathie And Braemar
National Park
NO 206 956
320600, 795600


Probably late 18th to early 19th century, possibly extended. Single storey, 3-bay traditional cruck-framed cottage with heather thatched roof under corrugated iron and rare 'hinging lum', remains of loft floor and wall cupboard. Alternating broad and narrow rubble courses with large squared rubble quoins.

S (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: doorway in bay to right of centre with small window opening to right and further doorway to left. Remains of timber lum to roof ridge at outer right.

W ELEVATION: small window opening in gablehead.

E ELEVATION: blank gabled elevation.

Corrugated-iron roof covering thick insulating heather and turf thatch/soding.

INTERIOR: jointed and pegged crucks (set into walls and ending above ground) with overlaying of purlines and cabbers. E gable with open hearth below fine timber 'hinging lum' constructed of vertical boards at front and sides and contained at back by stone wall. Small boarded timber cupboard set into wall immediately to E of SW door. Boarded loft floor on centre pillar at W end.

Statement of Special Interest

Group with 'Queen Mother's Cottage' and 'Threshing Mill', the clachan at Auchtavan also consists of a number of ruins and enclosure walls which probably constituted a group, together with this cottage, of dwellings for lime burners and agricultural workers. A small limekiln nearby, and further examples in the surrounding area (13 are mentioned in the Third Statistical Account) indicate the likelihood of this use for at least some of the structures in the group. The Queen Mother's Cottage and associated Threshing Mill are of later date but nevertheless form important elements of the clachan development.

Early details at the Cottage at Auchtavan are rare and important survivals of the "Open hearth tradition which characterised Scotland, when the domestic fires were used for cooking, drying, disposing of rubbish and any other immediate purposes" (Fenton, p5), and of traditional thatching which 'in most regions of Scotland' have almost ceased to exist' Walker, McGregor and Stark, p10). Fenton continues "The earliest reference to the term 'hinging lum' was for Angus in 1746. "Further north, in Banffshire, an observation was made around 1825 that 'Hanging Chumlies' had followed in time the arrangement with only a smoke opening in the roof. It seems that hanging chimneys, as forward steps in the of civilisation, were spreading in east central and northeast Scotland in the second half of the 18th century. They reached the more northerly parts, including Shetland, in the late 18th and early 19th centuries', p18. The thick heather thatch which may be described by the term 'soding' was widespread in the Highlands in 1794 when W Marshall detailed this traditional roofing method which matches the construction technique employed at Auchtavan (see Emerton, p12). Although the cottage is not constructed of large curved timbers, the term 'cruck-framed' is nevertheless accurate as "In many parts of Scotland crucks are made up of smaller timbers jointed and pegged to provide a continuous support" (Walker, McGregor and Little, p126). Wyness gives an illustration of what he calls a 'black house' at Auchtavan showing exposed cruck timbers and rounded gable end, probably part of the ruins situated to the south.



The Pattern of Scottish Roofing, (2000). Historic Scotland Technical Advice Note 4: Walker, McGregor and Stark Thatch and Thatching Techniques (1996). Historic Scotland Technical Advice Note 6: Walker, McGregor and Little Earth Structures and Construction in Scotland (1996), p126. F Wyness Royal Valley (1968), illus facing p177, pp243 and 311. Third Statistical Account, The County of Aberdeen (1960), p441.

About Listed Buildings

Listing is the way that a building or structure of special architectural or historic interest is recognised by law through the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings of special architectural or historic interest using the criteria published in the Historic Environment Scotland Policy Statement.

The information in the listed building record gives an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building(s). It is not a definitive historical account or a complete description of the building(s). The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

The only legal part of the listing is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing and if a number or name is missing from a listing address it may still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing can also cover structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage of the building, such as boundary walls, gates, gatepiers, ancillary buildings etc. The planning authority is responsible for advising on what is covered by the listing including the curtilage of a listed building. Since 1 October 2015 we have been able to exclude items from a listing. If part of a building is not listed, it will say that it is excluded in the statutory address and in the statement of special interest in the listed building record. The statement will use the word 'excluding' and quote the relevant section of the Historic Environment Scotland Act 2014. Some earlier listed building records may use the word 'excluding', but if the Act is not quoted, the record has not been revised to reflect current legislation.

If you want to alter, extend or demolish a listed building you need to contact your planning authority to see if you need listed building consent. The planning authority advises on the need for listed building consent and they also decide what a listing covers. The planning authority is the main point of contact for all applications for listed building consent.

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Printed: 18/04/2019 17:28