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Scheduled Ancient Monuments

Learn more about ancient scheduled monuments on and around Bennachie which are nationally important archaeological sites or historic buildings.

Further Information

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Afforsk Cross Stone

NJ 695 208 Afforsk Cross Stone Large Stone with Pictish Cross and Ogham Symbols

About 40 metres into the forest from the most northerly field of Mains of Afforsk there is an eminence topped with a Bronze Age cairn. At the edge of the cairn there is a stone which attracted the attention of Mike Davidson, a former Clerk to the Bailies of Bennachie. It was covered with moss which he removed and was astonished to find a Pictish incised cross. Archaeologists discovered on its edge a line of Ogham symbols, a primitive form of writing.

For more information see https://canmore.org.uk/site/80727/mains-of-afforsk

Map Reference: NJ 695 208 Coordinates: (57.276814,-2.5074667)

Maiden Castle

NJ 694 244 Maiden Castle, Pictish Fort.

Close to the Rowan Tree Car Park, is a Pictish fort standing on a rocky outcrop surrounded by a ditch and a circle of mature trees. Excavations at the site have confirmed settlement in the area from 7,000BC up to mediaeval times. During excavations in 2009 a rare Iron Age cobbled road, a stone pendant, and a 1,000-year-old sparkling glass bead were discovered. It would have provided early inhabitants with a panoramic view of the Garioch, the neighbouring ancient hilltop forts on Mither Tap and Dunnydeer, and the Glens of Foudland, gateway to the Highlands. Maiden Castle was a very high-status residence, probably home to an ancient prince or king. There are only three or four sites like this in Aberdeenshire. The excavations have now been filled in to preserve the site

For more information see https://canmore.org.uk/site/18182/maiden-castle

Map Reference: NJ 694 244 Coordinates: (57.309144,-2.5095721)

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Mither Tap Fort

NJ 682 224 Mither Tap Fort 518m, Iron Age Hill Fort

Mither Tap (or Mother’s Breast) has cliffs of hard wearing granite or tors which mean that it is potentially very dangerous place so be careful especially in a strong wind.

Most people who climb the Tap will approach the final ascent through an entrance corridor in a massive but ruinous wall – the remains of an Iron Age Hill Fort (c. 500 BC-500AD ). There are at least two walls surrounding the summit plus various terraces with signs of dwellings. In 2019 on the west side of Mither tap a well was excavated but is now covered.

For more information see https://canmore.org.uk/site/85507/mither-tap-of-bennachie

Map Reference: NJ 682 224 Coordinates: (57.291097,-2.5292317)

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Tillymuick

NJ 649 245 Tillymuick 254m, Hill Fort

This is a hill fort and is the largest enclosed site in North East Scotland. It is situated to the west of the Back O’ Bennachie Car Park. The low rounded summit is enveloped by a stone bank approximate 4m in width and 0.5m in height. It is difficult to trace the entire circuit but a gap is apparent on the west side and may be the original entrance. Within this stone bank are 8 huts, each 7-8m in diameter. It is now surrounded by forest and covered with Heather.

For more information see https://canmore.org.uk/site/18212/tillymuick

Map Reference: NJ 649 245 Height: 254 m Coordinates: (57.309717,-2.5842775)

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