Standing Stones and Ancient Sites in Royal Deeside & the North East

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Standing Stones & Henges

Several very impressive single standing stones survive in striking locations, possible covering burials or marking access points to significant areas of landscape. They appear to date from the Bronze Age (second millenium BC). One of the most visited recumbent stone circles in the area is the Easter Aquhorthies, located 3 miles west of Inverurie off the A96.

Henges are ceremonial enclosures with a bank outside the ditch dating from the late third millennium BC. The few known in the north-east are small.
Click here for more information and locations of Henges in Aberdeenshire

There are many fascinating archaeolgical wonders to find, including Stone Circles, Round Burial Cairns, Clava Cairns, Long Cairns, Pictish Symbol Stones, Hill Forts, Settlements and Souterrains in Aberdeenshire.

Learn more about where to find these impressive prehistoric landmarks at

Historic Churches

Royal Deeside and the Cairngorms has many historic churches that played a key role in the lives of local people. Here are details of just a few of them.

Crathie Church renowned as the church where the Royal Family worship when visiting the area, the current Crathie Church was completed in 1895 after the congregation raised £5,000 towards its costs and local estates donated wood and stone for its construction. The ruins of the earlier 13th century church can be seen in the old graveyard.

Glenmuick Church, Ballater This imposing building is located in the centre of Ballater and was built in 1873 after local residents felt the previous church did not adequately reflect the village’s new prosperity. It was designed to seat up to 600 people.

Church of St Mary These attractive 13th century ruins lie in the village of Kincardine O’Neil and were in use as a place of worship until 1862 when a new church was built directly opposite.

Church of Strathdon sometimes known as the Cathedral of the Strath, Strathdon Church dates back to 1851 and was restored in 1973. It houses over 30 marble commemorative tablets and the old kirkyard has gravestones going back many centuries.

Tullich Church, Ballater the ruins of Tullich Church date back to the 14th century, although its recorded history goes back to 1275. The church was used for worship until 1800 and had a burial ground with a circular wall around it, as it was believed that the Devil would not cross a circle. The churchyard has a number of pre-Christian and early Christian symbol stones.

Migvie Church, Logie Coldstone is built on an ancient ecclesiastical site, dating to the Pictish period. The present church dates to the late 18th century and stands just behind an earlier Pictish church, the remains of which comprise a low grass covered platform. The church has been united with Tarland since the early 17th century. The church is located in a small, sub-rectangular graveyard bounded by a low stone wall, with mature trees to the north. A wide trackway leads to the site, which is just to the north of the rural hamlet of Migvie in a rolling agricultural landscape. No longer a church, the space is now used for events and exhibitions.

The Historic Environment Of North East Scotland

The present landscape of the North East of Scotland has been formed by several hundred generations of hunters, herdsmen, farmers and foresters. Traces of many of their houses, farms, religious sites or burial monuments survive beside more recent features such as castles, industrial sites, kirks or military installations from the last war.