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Archaeology Notes

Event ID 671714

Category Descriptive Accounts

Type Archaeology Notes


NJ94NE 4 9588 4709.

(NJ 9588 4709) Stone Circle (NR)

OS 6" map (1959)

A recumbent stone circle comprising five erect stones including the 'recumbent'stone and the E pillar, and five prostrate stones including the W pillar. They are set upon a bank of small stones and earth, 5 to 6 feet wide and about 2ft 6ins high above the interior, which appears flat and grass grown. However,below the surface soil, the interior is made up, at least partially, of a mass of small boulders.

Outside the circle within a few feet to the W and S are pits apparently faced with small stones, and at a distance of 45 feet to the NE of the circle there is a harp of stones, possibly a cairn.

About 1821 a partial excavation was undertaken but nothing was found.

F R Coles 1904; J Spence 1890

A recumbent stone circle generally as described. The 'bank' appears to have been a wall about 1.2 metres wide, the inner and outer facing stones of which can be seen in parts round the circle. The alleged cairn to the NE is probably stones robbed from the circle and the pits to the W and S minor quarrying or tree holes, those on the W being in an old field bank.

Resurveyed at 1/2500.

Visited by OS (RL) 5 April 1968.

Air photographs: AAS/97/04/G8/17-18 and AAS/97/04/CT.

NMRS, MS/712/29.

NJ 9588 4709 As a continuation of the investigations at the Tomnaverie stone circle in the Howe of Cromar, Deeside (DES 2000, 9), one trench was excavated at the Buchan-type recumbent stone circle at Aikey Brae (NMRS NJ94NE 4). The trench was laid out on the W side of the monument between two monoliths of the stone circle and straddled in the wall of rubble about 1m wide that surrounds the site. This wall was found to be edged by kerbstones, some up to 1m high. The colours of the stones alternated between red and white. The kerb was bedded into a trench and charcoal samples were recovered from the base of one part of the cut. Given the excellent state of preservation of the rubble wall, this part of the structure was not removed. The socket of the southern monolith had been cut through the rubble wall and was set on its outer edge. The northern monolith was set into the centre of the wall, again cutting through the rubble. It was supported by a displaced kerbstone on its outer side. Artefacts recovered include a few worked flints and broken and flaked quartz. As seen in the recent excavations at Tomnaverie, and Cothiemuir Wood (this volume, 11), a recumbent stone circle appears to have been imposed on an earlier monument.

Sponsor: Historic Scotland

R Bradley and C Ball 2001

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