Tracks and Resources
Aerial photograph research
An initial meeting of the group was held with County Archaeologist Bruce Mann with
a view to initiate a programme of co-ordinated assessment of the aerial coverage of
Bennachie. This work will inform other planned fieldwork on the hill aimed at creating
a complete survey and recording of the ancient trackways, quarries and peat mosses.
During this process of studying the wide range of high quality photographs available,
these and any other features seen will be noted with a view to finding them on the
ground for more detailed recording and verification.
Once areas of interest have been identified by the examination of aerial photographs, the team will seek out any trackways still present. These paths will then be recorded using the GPS techniques outlined on the survey page. The mapping of these trackways will help to identify resources, such as quarries and areas of peat, which were being used by the colonists on Bennachie. They will also help to show the connections these people had with their neighbours, local resources and the wider landscape in which they lived.
Quarries on Bennachie
There are a number of quarries which can still be seen on Bennachie dating back to the 18th Century. The Bailies archive has a press cutting in which George Esson, the last of the colonists, regrets the end of stonecutting on the hill. Click Here to view. We are looking for more material and for reminiscences relating to quarrying activity to add to our knowledge of the hill's history. As the tracks are investigated and mapped, it is hoped more resources such as quarries will be identified.
Look out for the tell-tale ‘castellated’ marks of the pre-19th century method of splitting stone (see image at the top of the page) – only one site is presently known but there must be more about. Let us know if you see any.