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St Brandan's Stanes

Cup Marked Stone (Prehistoric), Recumbent Stone Circle (Neol/bronze Age), Cinerary Urn

Site Name St Brandan's Stanes

Classification Cup Marked Stone (Prehistoric), Recumbent Stone Circle (Neol/bronze Age), Cinerary Urn

Alternative Name(s) Templeton

Canmore ID 18495

Site Number NJ66SW 1

NGR NJ 6075 6105

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Aberdeenshire
  • Parish Boyndie
  • Former Region Grampian
  • Former District Banff And Buchan
  • Former County Banffshire

Archaeology Notes

NJ66SW 1 6075 6105

(NJ 6075 6105) St Brandan's Stanes (NR)

(An urn containing coins found here).

OS 6" map, Banffshire, 1st ed., (1871-4)

St Brandon's Stanes (NR)

(Urn containing coins found)

OS 6" map, Banffshire, 2nd ed., (1904)

St Brandan's Fair was originally held in the neighbourhood of these stones.

Anon 1883.

An urn, containing very defaced coins, was found under one of these stones, some years ago. They are commonly called 'The Brannan Stanes'

NSA 1845; Name Book 1866.

St Brandan's Stanes. The few stones remaining of this stone circle are situated on the farm of Templeton, at the south extremity of a long strip of fir plantation running down from Bankhead Farm.

The ground plan shows two pillars with, between them, a recumbent stone 8 feet long. In front of the pillars lie four large blocks and, close to the east face of the east pillar, an almost square block, vertical and apparently earth fast. This may be the beginning of an inner stone-setting. The east pillar shows signs of having been split and part-removed, in modern times.

The west pillar has eight cupmarks near its base. In or before 1866 there were twelve, but some may have been obscured by the growth of grass and weeds around the base.

J Y Simpson 1868; F R Coles 1906.

An oval site raised about 1 foot higher than the surrounding ground, approximately 28 feet by 19 feet.

The stones vary in height between 9 inches and 5 feet 6 inches, and in length between 2 feet and 4 feet 6 inches.

OS Reviser S L J Easton 8 September 1955.

These stones are generally as described by Coles (1906). The two largest stones measure about 1.5m long by 0.7m wide by 1.9 m high and about 1.3m long by 0.6m wide by 1.2 m. high. Only two good cupmarks could be seen near the base of the west pillar stone.

The stones are situated in a small rough patch in a cultivated field and stones and weeds from the field have been dumped on the site.

It is probable that the stones are the remains of a stone circle.

Visited by OS (WDJ) 27 September 1961.

The two stones described by Johnston, and still known locally as St Brandan's Stanes, are almost certainly the 'flankers' of a recumbent stone, of which there is now no trace. Several large broken stones at the corner of a dyke to the NE may have come from the circle.

Revised at 1/2500.

Visited by OS (NKB) 26 January 1968.


Field Visit (18 May 2005)

These two upright stones are probably the remains of a recumbent stone circle occupying a slight terrace on the gentle NNE facing slope dropping down above Templeton. The two stones stand some 2m apart and are probably the flankers of the recumbent setting, though the recumbent itself has been removed. Nevertheless, the placing of the stones (1 & 3), with their more regular sides facing SSW and sloping back towards the NNE, indicates that the setting stood on the SSW arc of the circle. The W flanker (1), which at 1.7m in height is some 0.25m shorter than its neighbour, exhibits six large cupmarks upon the lower part of its rear face; six others are concealed by the field clearance gathered around its foot (see below). An earthfast stone (C) 0.85m high set immediately behind the E flanker is probably the sole surviving kerbstone of a cairn within the circle; a thin veneer of cairn material survives immediately to the rear of the setting and presumably extends beneath the field-gathered stones piled around the two flankers, but the rest has been cleared in the course of cultivation. At least one of the stones (A) on this heap is probably a displaced orthostat, and it is possible that a smaller stone (B) is yet another.

Visited by RCAHMS (ATW and KHJM) 18 May 2005


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