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Recumbent Stone Circle (Neolithic) - (Bronze Age)

Site Name Dunnideer

Classification Recumbent Stone Circle (Neolithic) - (Bronze Age)

Alternative Name(s) Dunnydeer Farm

Canmore ID 18161

Site Number NJ62NW 4

NGR NJ 6086 2844

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

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

Archaeology Notes

NJ62NW 4 6086 2844.

(NJ 6086 2844) Stone Circle (NR) (Remains of)

OS 6" map, Aberdeenshire, 2nd ed., (1901)

An 'erect' recumbent stone and two fallen pillars, on a mound of earth and stone about 18 to 20ins (0.45 to 0.5m) high (Coles 1902). Several stones were removed some years before 1866 (Ordnance Survey Name Book [ONB] 1867).

The recumbent stone is 9ft 4ins (2.84m) in length and up to 5ft 8ins (1.72m) in height: the east pillar is 8ft (2.44m) long by 4ft 6ins (1.37m) broad and up to 2ft 2ins (0.66m) thick: the west pillar is 10ft 6ins (3.2m) long, over 3ft (0.91m) wide and 15 to 20ins (0.38 to 0.5m) thick. Weeds and rubbish have been dumped against the recumbent stone and over the pillar stones. The remains lie in a seedling fir plantation (Coles 1902).

Name Book 1867; F R Coles 1902.

The two flankers have been re-erected, otherwise the remains of this recumbent stone circle are as described.

Resurveyed at 1/2500.

Visited by OS (RL) 4 March 1969.

The remains of this recumbent stone circle, which are situated 550m SW of Dunnydeer farmsteading (NJ62NW 138), comprise the recumbent slab with upright pillars flanking its NW and SE ends. The stones are sited at the top of a N-facing slope, lying close to the hedgerow marking the N boundary of the small field of rough pasture within which they stand. Of the three stones that survive, only the recumbent appears to be in its original position, the W flanker having been re-erected in about 1976 by the father of the present owner, Mr Mackie of Dunnydeer, and the E flanker some years previous to that. The recumbent stone, which is aligned roughly NW and SE, measures 2.8m in length by 0.5m in thickness and 1.95m in height. The E flanker measures 1m by 0.85m at ground level and 2.25m in height, the W flanker 1m by 0.52m and 2m in height. A drill-hole on one side of the latter provides evidence that it has been deliberately split along its length.

In their present positions, the flankers suggest that the recumbent occupied the NE arc of the circle, but this is probably an illusion created by the construction of the setting. The SW face of the recumbent is smoother than the NE face, suggesting that, in common with other recumbent stone circles, this stone faced outwards towards the SW, thus placing it on the SW arc. The mound of earth and stones on the side of the slab is probably no more than the result of field-clearance.

Visited by RCAHMS (JRS, IF), 3 April 1996.

Scheduled as Dunnideer stone circle... the remains of a Recumbent Stone Circle of prehistoric date... 570m SW of Dunnydeer Farm.

Information from Historic Scotland, scheduling document dated 29 October 2003.

This site, and others on Dunnideer Hill, was affected by a fire that spread across the grass and exposed archaeological features, including pottery and other materials. Historic Scotland funded a project to assess the damage the fire did to the upstanding archaeology, and any remains exposed by it or the fire brigade's work (they stripped turf in an attempt to contain the spreading fire).

S Badger2006


Field Visit (15 October 1998)

The recumbent and two re-erected flankers are all that can now be seen of a recumbent stone circle situated in improved pasture on the ridge that extends W from the foot of the Hill of Dunnideer. Standing immediately S of an old hedge line towards the N shoulder of the ridge, the ground rises gently to a local summit some 20m to the S. The recumbent (2) is a relatively thin slab measuring 2.85m in length by 1.9m in height and presents its smoother face towards SSW. Neither flanker is in its original position, both projecting forwards from the leading edge of the recumbent and at right-angles to its long axis, the western (1) also displaced 1m to the W. The latter stands witness to the destruction of the circle. It has not only lost its top, exhibiting a shot-hole on the fracture, but the plough scratches visible along the S edge of its E face attest the encroachment of cultivation when it was prostrate; probably since its re-erection the stone has sheered naturally into two halves.

Visited by RCAHMS (JRS, RJM and KHJM) 15 October 1998

Measured Survey (15 October 1998)

RCAHMS surveyed Dunnideer recumbent stone circle on 15 October 1998 with plane-table and alidade at a scale of 1:100. The elevation was added on 29 February 2000. The resultant plan and elevation of the recumbent and flanker were redrawn in vector graphics software and published at a scale of 1:250 (Welfare 2011,354).


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