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Balbridie archaeological site

Balbridie is the site of a Neolithic timberhouse in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, situated in the south Deeside near the B9077 road. This archaeological site is one of the earliest known permanent neolithic settlements in Scotland, dating to 3400 to 4000 BC.[1][2] In a European context, Whittle has indicated the rarity of such large Neolithic timber houses, citing Balbridie, a hall in Cambridgeshire and Fengate as a small set of such finds.[3] The site is situated in the Deeside to the north of the Durris Forest.[4] Historical structures in this local area include Crathes Castle, Maryculter House, Netherley House and Muchalls Castle.


The Balbridie site was not discovered until the year 1976 when aerial photography revealed cropmarks suggesting a very large structure[5] in an otherwise agricultural area. Subsequent archaeological work on site allowed the conceptual reconstruction of an enormous timber structure including the identification of large timber postholes.

Relationship to other very early features[edit]

The vicinity of Balbridie includes a number of other notable archaeological features including the Neolithic site of Bucharn. Watt has pointed out that this local area attracted an unusual density of very early settlement in Scotland. Balbridie is not only close to the River Dee but also to the Elsick Mounth trackway, the route of early crossings inland through the lower Grampian Mountains.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Peter S. Bellwood, First Farmers: The Origins of Agricultural Societies, 2005, Blackwell Publishing, 360 pages ISBN 0-631-20566-7
  2. ^ A.D.Fairweather and I. Ralston, 1993, The Neolithic Timber Hall at Balbridie, Antiquity 67: 313-323
  3. ^ A. W. R. Whittle and Norman Yoffee, Europe in the Neolithic: The Creation of New Worlds, 1996, Cambridge University Press, 459 pages ISBN 0-521-44920-0
  4. ^ United Kingdom Ordnance Survey Map Landranger 45, Stonehaven and Banchory, 1:50,000 scale, 2004
  5. ^ Archibald Watt, Highways and Byways around Kincardine, Stonehaven Heritage Society (1985)
  6. ^ C. Michael Hogan. 2007. Elsick Mounth, Megalithic Portal, ed A. Burnham

Coordinates: 57°03′13″N 2°26′36″W / 57.05356°N 2.44325°W / 57.05356; -2.44325