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Henge (Neolithic) - (Bronze Age)(Possible), Moated Site (Medieval)(Possible)

Site Name Roundabout

Classification Henge (Neolithic) - (Bronze Age)(Possible), Moated Site (Medieval)(Possible)

Alternative Name(s) Alford Motte; Leochel Burn; Ardgathen; Alford West Church

Canmore ID 17559

Site Number NJ51NE 7

NGR NJ 5552 1627

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Aberdeenshire
  • Parish Alford
  • Former Region Grampian
  • Former District Gordon
  • Former County Aberdeenshire

Archaeology Notes

NJ51NE 7 5552 1627

See also NJ51NE 148.

(NJ 5552 1627) Roundabout Site of (NAT) Fort (NE)

Ashes found here about AD 1835

OS 6" map, (1959)

A small circular fort. It has been completely levelled by cultivation but a slight hollow remains on the line of its ditch. The ashes were found in the centre of the fort during its destruction.

Name Book 1866.

A small camp of little more than an acre in area. Its rampart and ditch were of very large size, and much of the rampart material had come from the interior.

NSA 1845.

There are the remains of an earthwork much reduced by cultivation on level ground on the edge of a low escarpment formed by the scour of an earlier course of the Leochel Burn. It is defined by a broad shallow ditch about 10.0m in width and about 0.8m in depth enclosing a raised platform measuring about 50.0m N to S by about 40.0m transversely. There is no evidence of the rampart described by NSA. The topographical position and general appearance of the earthwork, together with its relationship to the church, manse, and old mill of Alford (a common occurrence in Aberdeenshire) suggest that it is almost certainly the remains of a motte.

Visited by OS (RL) 12 September 1968.

Air photographs: AAS/84/13/R26(1)/9-11 and AAS/84/13/R27/14-15.

NMRS, MS/712/50.

(Formerly classified as Motte: reclassified as Moated Site (Possible); Henge (Possible)). This ploughed-down earthwork is situated in a cultivated field on the edge of an old river terrace about 160m NE of Alford West Church (NJ51NE 10). Oval on plan, it measures about 50m from NNE to SSW by 40m transversely within a ditch with an external bank. The ditch is up to 12m in breadth and 0.6m in depth, while a short section of the bank on the SW that has escaped cultivation measures about 8m in thickness and 1m in height, though elsewhere it is little more than a broad swelling. A contour survey suggests that if there are any causeways across the ditch, they are situated opposite each other on the NNW and SSE sides respectively. The W side of the earthwork is partly hidden below an uncultivated baulk some 4m in breadth on the lip of the terrace. Trees grow on this baulk, which has also been used as a dump for small piles of field-cleared stones.

The date and purpose of the earthwork are unknown. It is possibly a moated site, though it is undocumented and no medieval artefacts have been found here. Alternatively it might possibly be the remains of a Neolithic henge.

Visited by RCAHMS (JRS), 22 November 2002.


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