A ‘T’ in the Park discovered at Aden

An artist's impression of a T-shaped castle building
An artist's impression of a T-shaped castle building

Two stone structures have been uncovered in Aden Country Park following a search carried out by the Book of Deer Project.

This summer the Project was looking for the Celtic Monastery where the Book of Deer was written and they stumbled upon foundations of what they believe to be a Medieval Tower House.

The foundations could possibly be those of the long lost castle of Aden.

The archaeological dig at Aden was carried out by a team of 36 archaeologists, Book of Deer members, students and volunteers as well as staff and nearly 300 pupils from local primary schools and Mintlaw Academy.

One of the structures uncovered was the large foundations of a T-shaped building built in the medieval period as a tower house and possibly later used as an Episcopalian Meeting House.

Burnt timbers and stone were uncovered and it is believed the building would have been burnt down.

The second stone foundation structure discovered at Aden may have been used for agricultural or mixed domestic and agricultural purposes.

Archaeologists found a hearth surrounded by a well-laid cobbled floor and a stone-lined pit within the second structure site.

Derek Jennings of The Book of Deer Project said: “Research so far has revealed that there is a great possibility that this is the long lost tower house or castle of the Keith family.

“The current Aden House ruin was originally built after 1758 so the excavated building may have been the precursor of this late 18th Century house, on the plan of Aden House there are traces of a T-shaped building.”

Derek added: “We would like to thank Ali Cameron of Cameron Archaeology, Aberdeenshire Council archaeologist Bruce Mann and everyone else who helped with the dig.”

A previous dig at Aden uncovered a group of 27 circular enclosures or possible huts, believed to be Bronze Age in date, which lie in trees to the north of the former stables of Aden House.