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Monkton, Macrae's Monument

Commemorative Monument (18th Century), Human Remains (18th Century)

Site Name Monkton, Macrae's Monument

Classification Commemorative Monument (18th Century), Human Remains (18th Century)

Canmore ID 41689

Site Number NS32NE 25

NGR NS 36541 28257

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council South Ayrshire
  • Parish Monkton And Prestwick
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Kyle And Carrick
  • Former County Ayrshire

Archaeology Notes

NS32NE 25 36541 28257

(NS 3653 2826) Macrae's Monument (NAT)

OS 1:10000 map (1978)

Macrae's Monument: Built in 1748 and rebuilt in 1750 after collapsing, it commemorates James Macrae, a local person who rose to be governor of St George, Madras. He died at Monkton House (Orangefields) in 1744 and is buried in Monkton Churchyard (Memoirs of John Dickie of Loans (b.1715)).

Name Book 1857


John Swan, builder (?) 1748-50

(Undated) information in NMRS.

A finely worked memorial of sandstone blocks and columns, some 10m high, with a square ground storey and a mounted obelisk. It is in a neglected condition.

Visited by OS (JRL) 7 November 1980


Excavation (November 2000)

During the excavation of a trial pit within the monument in advance of underpinning works, building contractors discovered human remains. The ensuing excavation revealed a series of six inhumations, dating to the second half of the18th century.

Two male and two female adults were present within the material recovered, along with two juveniles aged between 4 to 5 years, and 1 to 2.5 years respectively. Only two of these individuals appeared to have received a formal burial, as the graves did not share the common orientation expected of Christian burials of the period.

No information relating to the identity of the deceased survived.

Local tradition, however, claims that James Macrae himself was exhumed from Monkton churchyard 'by a group of six or seven friend and reburied the remains within the monument' (J. Steven (Monkton Historic Society), pers comm)

Information from GUARD 2000 (MS 725/292; GUARD 960)


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