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Tom Of Ruthrie

Field System (Period Unassigned), Hut Circle(S) (Prehistoric)

Site Name Tom Of Ruthrie

Classification Field System (Period Unassigned), Hut Circle(S) (Prehistoric)

Alternative Name(s) Ruthrie; Tom Of Ruthrie Wood

Canmore ID 16309

Site Number NJ23NE 3

NGR NJ 259 391

NGR Description Centred NJ 259 391

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Moray
  • Parish Aberlour
  • Former Region Grampian
  • Former District Moray
  • Former County Banffshire

Accessing Scotland's Past Project

According to nineteenth-century sources, numerous small cairns were observed on Tom of Ruthrie, a hillock to the south of Benrinnes Distillery.

These cairns probably formed part of the field-system identified by the Ordnance Survey in 1966. Although a thick covering of peat and heather obscured the remains, several small field clearance cairns and a number of lynchets (the slight scarp formed at the edges of ploughing) were recorded. Situated on the eastern edges of the field system there are the remains of five hut-circles ranging in size, from about 9.5m to as much as 13m in diameter.

Text prepared by RCAHMS as part of the Accessing Scotland's Past project

Archaeology Notes

NJ23NE 3 centred 259 391

(NJ 254 391) Cairns (NR)

(NJ 254 392) Cairns (NR) (Site of)

OS 6" map, Banffshire, 2nd ed., (1905)

A group of small cairns on the hillside of Ruthrie. A number had been destroyed prior to 1869.

Name Book 1869; J Anderson 1890.

Centred at NJ 259 391 in cleared woodland is a settlement of five stone-walled huts (A to E) at the E edge of an ill-defined contemporary field system. The entrance to each hut is in the E. Hut 'B' is oval, the others are circular and apart from 'D' the measurements are given between wall centres.

Hut 'A', which is poorly defined, measures about 9.5m in diameter with the wall spread to an indeterminate width,. The entrance is poorly defined.

Hut 'B' measures about 13.5m E to W by about 11.0m transversely with the wall spread to about 4.5m at the S side of the entrance but only 2.5m elsewhere. The NE arc and the entrance are mutilated by a track.

'C' measures about 13.0m in diameter with the wall spread to about 3.0m all round. The hut is mutilated and the rubble core of the wall is exposed in places. The entrance is ill-defined.

'D' measures 12.0m overall diameter with outer wall facing stones visible intermittently but no inner facing stones are evident and the wall is spread to about 2.5m all round. The entrance is ill-defined. About 3.0m S of the entrance are two earth-fast stones on edge forming a right angle, one apparently an outer wall facing stone and the other possibly part of a cell or recess, but the structure is too overgrown for accurate assessment.

'E' which is poorly defined, measures about 11.5m in diameter with the wall spread to an indeterminate width. The entrance is ill-defined.

The field system consisting of stone clearance heaps and occasional lynchets, is obscured by peat and heather and no measurable plots were identified.

Visited by OS (N K B) 2 February 1967 and (R L) 6 April 1971.

(Location cited as NJ 2590 3910 and name as Tom of Ruthrie Wood; classified as Site of Regional Importance). Ill-defined field-system with five stone-walled huts on moderate slope at altitude of 260m OD. See also GRC/AAS sites NJ23NE 8-12.

NMRS, MS/712/35, visited 31 October 1978.


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