The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian




Heading North East from Tarland take the B9119, going past the Culsh souterrain, take the first minor road heading north after this show site. Les and I pulled in at the forestry track at the Hallhead Plantation. These tracks head eventually to top of Pressendye and we followed one of them as a path indicated on our maps had vanished, we assumed it was thanks to the new track we were on.

We kept going on through the Hallhead Plantation looking for a crossroads which never appeared. Pittenderich is to the south and we hoped this road would lead us to a clearing. It didn't so we kept going a short distance until the road headed sharply north, we headed south cutting through the trees, jumped the fence and landed in a field just to the north of the ruined croft of Burnside.

The track at Burnside is a boggy mess but at least it led over the burn onto a track heading south up Pittenderich. Shortly after the track veers west a small track, today covered in snow, heads steeply upwards to the flat summit of Pittenderich.

There is a huge cairn on the summit. It sits at over 20m in diameter and is at least 3m high. As usual hill walkers have plonked their cairn on top. Four wind breaks (used as benches) have also been built into the cairn. All round this site are hills covered in prehistory - Pressendye, Morven, Mulloch, Cairn More etc etc - all with similarly large cairns. How this cairn isn't listed anywhere is unbelievable. To me, it is one of the best Aberdeenshire cairns I've seen. (I'm sure Les was impressed also)

On the way down we retraced our steps to Burnside. This time we followed the tree line east as a track of sorts did exist. After field of heather a newish track appears which led us back to the new forestry road. The old track hadn't vanished, they had simply built a new road next to the older which hid the original track round the side of forest from view.

It should be said that Thelonius encouraged me/us to have a look up here as did the Mad Man of Glass. So after a day of looking at nice wee cairns it was good to look at an absolute belter.


Historic Scotland have been informed about this site. Aberdeenshire Archaeology are going to the survey the site. Also a track will lead to the summit of Pittenderich later this year.

Visited 29/12/2016.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
27th January 2017ce
Edited 27th January 2017ce

Comments (4)

Brilliant, great that you and Mr T and Les have been giving this one a proper assessment. thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
28th January 2017ce
Good stuff Drew. Be interesting what Aberdeenshire Archaeology say in their survey. thelonious Posted by thelonious
29th January 2017ce
I'll post the details here T and of Kerloch.

Cheers SC, as well as Pitten and Kerloch I've kept HS and AA pretty busy with several discoveries which will keep them busy.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
30th January 2017ce
There is a proposal to build mountain bike trails up here.

As you can imagine, many people are concerned by the disturbance this will cause. The quote, given below, from the report shows a total lack of respect for this site from Aberdeenshire Archaeology. Did they ever conduct a survey?

6.53 The wider area contains a significant number of historic sites and records however much of the area subject to the application is relatively free of important sites and monuments. The development will not affect any monuments directly although the blue trail running to the top of Pittendreich will be close to a hill cairn which is of Regional Significance. The feature is more than 20m from the proposed trail and unlikely to be effected. Archaeology have confirmed they have no objection subject to a condition showing the location of protective markers to avoid any impact on the feature during construction. The proposal complies with policy HE1: Protecting historic buildings, sites and monuments.
Posted by wintergreen
24th June 2018ce
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