Scheduled Monument

Aquhorthies, stone circle,cairn and platform 200m NNE ofSM971

Status: Designated


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Date Added
Last Date Amended
Supplementary Information Updated
Prehistoric ritual and funerary: enclosure (ritual or funerary rather than defensive or domestic); ring cairn; stone circle or ring
Local Authority
NO 90185 96334
390185, 796334


The monument comprises the remains of a very well preserved stone circle (of the type known as a recumbent stone circle, because of the large stone lying on the S side of the circle) surrounding a well preserved ring cairn, immediately adjacent to an apparently artificial platform.

The circle measures 23.7m NNW to SSE by 22m transversely. The ring cairn measures 15.4m in diameter over an almost complete kerb. The open inner area is 3m in diameter. The recumbent stone is set back from the circle on the S side, towards the ring cairn. The raised platform to the S of the circle measures about 11m square; from its relationship with the circle it seems likely to be broadly contemporary.

The area to be scheduled, to include the stone circle, the ring cairn, the platform and an area around in which remains associated with the construction and use of the monument may survive, measures 60m N to S by 40m E to W, as marked in red on the attached map.

Statement of National Importance

The monument is of national importance as one of the best preserved recumbent stone circles outside state care, with the field characteristics of the circle and the ring-cairn very clearly visible. It has the potential to enhance considerably our understanding of late Neolithic ritual and burial practices. The monument is of particular importance because of its proximity to another circle of the same kind, at Old Bourtreebush, 300m to the SSE. Their relationship could cast considerable light on the use to which the circles were put.



RCAHMS records the monument as NO 99 NW 1.


Coles, F R, 1900, 'Report on stone circles in Kincardineshire (North), and part of Aberdeenshire, with measured plans and drawings, obtained under the Gunning Fellowship', Proc Soc Antiq Scot, vol. 34, 146-9.

OSA (1792) The statistical account of Scotland, drawn up from the communications of the ministers of the different parishes, in Sinclair, J (Sir) Edinburgh, Vol. 4, 456.

Ordnance Survey, 1865, Object Name Books of the Ordnance Survey, Book No. 2, 109, 110.

RCAHMS 1984, The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. The archaeological sites and monuments of North Kincardine, Kincardine and Deeside District, Grampian Region, The archaeological sites and monuments of Scotland series no 21 Edinburgh, 7, No. 9.

Smith R A, 1889, 'Notes on stone circles in Durris, Kincardineshire and its neighbourhood', Proc Soc Antiq Scot, Vol. 14, 305-6.

Thom, A., Thom, A. S. and Burl, H. A. W. 1980, Megalithic rings: plans and data for 229 monuments in Britain, Brit Archaeol Rep, BAR British, Vol. 81, Oxford, 226-7.

Thomson, A, 1865, 'Notice of a group of four circles of standing stones, in the south corner of the parish of Banchory-Devenick, County of Kincardine', Proc Soc Antiq Scot, Vol. 5, 133-4.

About Scheduled Monuments

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Scheduling is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for monuments and archaeological sites of national importance as set out in the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.

We schedule sites and monuments that are found to be of national importance using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Scheduled monument records provide an indication of the national importance of the scheduled monument which has been identified by the description and map. The description and map showing the scheduled area is the legal part of the scheduling. The statement of national importance and additional information provided are supplementary. These records are not definitive historical or archaeological accounts or a complete description of the monument(s).

The format of scheduled monument records has changed over time. Earlier records will usually be brief. Some information will not have been recorded and the map will not be to current standards. Even if what is described and what is mapped has changed, the monument is still scheduled.

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Printed: 21/01/2020 04:53