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Building (Period Unassigned), Recumbent Stone Circle (Neol/bronze Age)

Site Name Auchlee

Classification Building (Period Unassigned), Recumbent Stone Circle (Neol/bronze Age)

Alternative Name(s) Auchlee Cottage; Hill Of Auchlee

Canmore ID 37069

Site Number NO89NE 4

NGR NO 89040 96885

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Aberdeenshire
  • Parish Banchory-devenick
  • Former Region Grampian
  • Former District Kincardine And Deeside
  • Former County Kincardineshire

Archaeology Notes

NO89NE 4 89040 96885

Location formerly cited as NO 8904 9688.

A severely damaged ring-cairn surrounded by a recumbent stone circle is situated on a low knoll 220m WNW of Auchlee farmhouse. The ring-cairn measures 14m in diameter over the outer kerb, of which eleven stones are visible, most of them leaning outwards; only one inner kerbstone remains in situ, but two other lie displaced in a shallow robber-trench. The central enclosed area measures about 3m in diameter, and the cairn material is not more than 0,4m high. Of the stone circle, the recumbent lies dislodged 2m outside the outer kerb of the cairn on the S; both flankers have been removed and only four other stones survive, all fallen, the largest (1.3m by 0.6m by 2.2m) on the W and the smallest (0.6m by 0.3m by 1.8m) on the NE.

I B M Ralston 1977; RCAHMS 1984, visited November 1983.

Scheduled as 'Auchlee Cottage, stone circle 120m NNE of... the remains of a recumbent stone circle...'

Information from Historic Scotland, scheduling document dated 30 March 2009.

Ring Cairn

(remains of) [NAT]

OS (GIS) MasterMap, May 2009.


Field Visit (8 March 2004 - 9 March 2004)

This grass-grown recumbent stone circle has been severely mauled by farmers and stone-robbers, but still retains many of its original features. Situated on a knoll on the SSE flank of the Hill of Auchlee, it measures about 20m in diameter, but the original complement of perhaps thirteen stones has been reduced to only five, comprising the recumbent and four felled orthostats. A ring-cairn within the circle is heavily robbed, probably to provide stones for a ruined building immediately to the W, while on the N, E and S tumbled field dykes can be seen riding up onto the line of its kerb. The recumbent (2), a slab on the S measuring 2.9m in length by 1.9m in breadth and 0.7m in thickness, has fallen forwards onto its face and the relatively uneven summit now forms its S side. Both flankers are missing, and of the four surviving orthostats, one on the ESE (4) has fallen inwards and the others (5–7) outwards. The bulky character of 7 on the WSW, which has probably been incorporated into the building on the W as a cornerstone, seems out of character with the others, but there is no good reason to discount it from the ring. The lengths of the orthostats suggest that the circle was graded to reduce in height from S to N. The ring-cairn within the interior forms a mound up to 0.4m high and measures about 14.2m in diameter over a kerb of slabs and boulders. Eighteen remain in place and those on the S preserve the link with the recumbent setting. This is one of only two examples where the survey evidence can infer that the outward turn of the kerb is probably secondary (see also Balnacraig, No. 8), and its original line can be seen apparently projecting behind the large kerbstone that forms the turn on the SSW. Although the kerbstones are not consistently graded in size, this last stone is the largest, and much bigger than those on the NNE, but unusually there are also two stones elsewhere along the kerb that are much taller than any of their neighbours. Situated on the SE and W respectively, the first (A) is a relatively slender slab standing 0.85m high, while the second is a dome-shaped boulder 1m high (B); the latter is broken into at least two pieces, both of which exhibit a series of shot-holes. At the centre of the cairn, but not placed symmetrically to either the outward turn of the kerb or the present position of the recumbent, there are traces of a central court about 3m in diameter, marked out by a shallow robber trench and five kerbstones, the largest of which is also on the S.

Visited by RCAHMS (ATW and KHJM) 8-9 March 2004


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