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Cullerlie

Stone Circle (Neol/bronze Age)

Site Name Cullerlie

Classification Stone Circle (Neol/bronze Age)

Alternative Name(s) Cullerlie Of Echt; Standing Stones Of Cullerlie; Standing Stones Of Echt; Standing Stones Farm, Leuchar Moss; Cullerie

Canmore ID 18548

Site Number NJ70SE 2

NGR NJ 7850 0428

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/18548

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

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

Archaeology Notes

NJ70SE 2 78511 04278

(NJ 7850 0428) Stone Circle (NR)

OS 6" map, (1959)

Location formerly entered as NJ 7850 0428.

A Bronze Age stone circle known as the Standing Stones of Cullerlie, and situated near Standing Stones Farm - Leuchar Moss, was excavated by H E Kilbride-Jones (1935) on behalf of HM Office of Works.

The circle consists of eight stones ranging in height from 3ft 7ins to 5ft 11ins placed round the circumference of a circle of 36ft diameter. The interior had been levelled prior to the erection of the stones and later the ground was burnt all over by setting fire to piles of willow twigs. On the area so consecrated eight small ringed burial cairns were built, five of which yielded burnt human bones and charcoal, one scrap of pottery, and three worked flints.

When Logan described this circle in 1820 he referred to nine other small circles of similar dimensions situated to the SW of the circle but no trace whatever of these remains.

H E Kilbride-Jones 1935.

This monument appeared before excavation as eight rather squat undressed boulders placed at approximately equal intervals round the circumference of a circle measuring 32ft (9.8m) diameter. When cleared, these were found to enclose seven very small circular cairns showing signs of cremations, the largest of which occupied the central position and the others the space between this and the upright stones. An earlier robbery had unfortunately cleared off any relics before the excavation of 1934, but the monument (which is in guardianship) is of interest in giving an indication of the unexpected variety and interest which may lie hidden beneath the sombre and forbidding exterior of such remains.

R W Feachem 1963.

A stone circle now known as the 'Standing Stones of Echt', as described above. No trace of the nine other small circles to the SW could be found.

Re-surveyed at 1/2500.

Visited by OS (RD) 8 January 1965.

'Standing Stone of Echt'

Information from MoPBW nameboard; OS Reviser (SJ Reed) July 1967.

This monument is situated on a low ridge of gravel running into Leuchar Moss, at an altitude of about 80m OD.

(Additional bibliography cited).

NMRS, MS/712/65.

There is no change to the existing record.

Visited by RCAHMS (JRS), 12 December 2001.

(Location cited as NJ 785 042). This well-known site was excavated in 1930 and is in good condition. A survey conducted in 2004 disclosed the following features:

Outer circle stones: Northernmost stone has one cup mark on lower inner (S-facing) face. Easternmost stone has one cup mark on upper N-facing face. Southernmost stone has one cup mark on inner N-facing face.

Inner circle stones: Easternmost stone of central cairn kerb has one large cup mark on inner face.

These features do not seem to have been recorded before.

R Daly 2004

Activities

Publication Account (1986)

This manicured stone circle is set, unusually, on a ridge of gravel running into the low plain of Leuchar Moss at 90m OD. Eight rough boulders, graded to the north and with their bases keeled, are set in a ring, 10.2m in diameter, within which lie eight small kerb cairns. The central cairn is the largest, at 3.4 m in diameter; it is the only one to have a double kerb. This and six other cairns each has 11 kerbstones.

Excavation in 1934 established that the site had first been levelled, the eight ring stones and the kerbs of the cairns erected; a fire of willow branches had then been lit amongst them. Cremated bone was deposited in seven of the kerb cairns and the cairns were infilled. The finding of oak charcoal in five cairns and hazel charcoal in one other cairn could indicate that not all the deposits were contemporary. Cairn 2, which lies to the west of the central cairn, contained a central, capstone-covered fire pit with lumps of charcoal and cremated human bone. The only objects found from the whole site were minute potsherds and three small worked flakes.

This setting is seen as a laer development from the recumbent stone circle tradition.

Information from ‘Exploring Scotland’s Heritage: Grampian’, (1986).

Publication Account (1996)

This manicured stone circle is set, unusually, on a ridge of gravel running into the low plain of Leuchar Moss at 90m OD. Eight rough boulders, graded to the north and with their bases keeled, are set in a ring, 10.2m in diameter, within which lie eight small kerb cairns, all but one with eleven kerb-stones. The central cairn is the largest, at 3.4m in diameter; it is the only one to have a double kerb. This and six other cairns each has 11 kerbsrones.

Excavation in 1934 established that the site had first been levelled, the eight ring stones and the kerbs of the cairns erected; a fire of willow branches had then been lit amongst them. Cremated bone was deposited in seven of the kerb cairns and the cairns were infilled. The finding of oak charcoal in five cairns and hazel charcoal in one other cairn could indicate that not all the deposits were contemporary. Cairn 2, which lies to the west of the central cairn, contained a central, capstone-covered fire pit with lumps of charcoal and cremated human bone. The only objects found from the whole site were minute potsherds and three small worked flakes.

This setting is seen as a later development from the recumbent stone circle tradition.

Information from ‘Exploring Scotland’s Heritage: Aberdeen and North-East Scotland’, (1996).

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