Bennachie Forum > Extent of Colonisation

Around Grid Ref 674212 there is what appears to be a field system in a forested area shown on the Bailies' map. This can be seen on Google Earth, as can another apparent field system around 140m to the west of this in a clear-felled area but not shown on the map.

I visited the clear-felled area today and found the remains of stone dykes easily although they are completely overgrown with heather and moss and appear to be of great age.

I wonder whether these structures are associated with the Colonies of the 1800s, which I understood to be concentrated further to the East according to any information I can find, or if they date from another time and have no connection to the colony?

March 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterGD

Those field systems are what remain from the cleared small fermtoun of Birks. One of the Colonists by the Clackie Burn was herself cleared from there, I believe. Birks was replaced by an early modern 'rationalised' farm on the south side of the burn away from the earlier fields. This has been completely mashed and lays in a fairly dense conifer plantation. Birks crops up in 17th century charters and was clearly a settlement of fairly long-standing. It is still unknown where the house sites pertaining to the earlier Birks lay - presumably they should be not too far from the field systems.

Thanks very much for the explanation, it is fascinating to know there is evidence of community there which predates the Colony and that the walls at least remain substantially intact, albeit overgrown. I had noticed "Birks (Site Of)" on the Bailies' map and wondered what this was. This looks to me to be an archaeological investigation waiting to happen (pending the clearance of the remaining forestry)!

April 4, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterGD