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Macbeth's Cairn

Cairn (Bronze Age), Plantation Bank (Post Medieval)

Site Name Macbeth's Cairn

Classification Cairn (Bronze Age), Plantation Bank (Post Medieval)

Alternative Name(s) Perkhill; Howburn; Ferneybrae

Canmore ID 17456

Site Number NJ50NE 10

NGR NJ 5782 0533

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number AC0000807262. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Aberdeenshire
  • Parish Lumphanan
  • Former Region Grampian
  • Former District Kincardine And Deeside
  • Former County Aberdeenshire

Archaeology Notes

NJ50NE 10 5782 0533.

(NJ 5782 0533) Macbeth's Cairn (NR)

OS 6" map, (1959)

Traditionally Macbeth's burial place, this cairn was robbed between 1835 and 1855 to build most of the houses on Perkhill, and is now quite level, about 50ft in diameter and about 2ft high. It was opened at the same time as a circular dyke was built around it about 1855, when a stone coffin containing bones and ashes was found at the bottom.

Name Book 1867.

A chamber in Macbeth's Cairn is roughly oval in shape, about four feet deep, with the sides at the deepest part slightly smoothed.

G M Fraser 1929.

Macbeth's Cairn, a well-preserved cairn, is situated on a false crest and protected by a modern wall. It is 13.0m in diameter and 1.2m high and retained by a kerb of stones for most of its circumference. The 'chamber' described by Fraser (1929) is an excavation hollow.

Re-surveyed at 1/2500.

Visited by OS (NKB) 24 September 1968.

(Newspaper reference cited).

NMRS, MS/712/49.

Scheduled as Macbeth's Cairn, ENE of Ferneybrae.

Information from Historic Scotland, scheduling document dated 12 February 2001.


Field Visit (24 August 1994)

This cairn is situated in the middle of a field of improved pasture and is surrounded by a plantation bank on which beech are now growing. It measures 13m in diameter and stands 0.75m in height with a kerb of stones visible around the E, S and W, where it rises to 0.7m high. The centre of the cairn has been excavated and there a large slab, possibly from a cist, leaning against the NE side of the pit.

(CRAIG94 63)

Visited by RCAHMS (PJD) 24 August 1994


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