Rural settlement in the Scottish Highlands, 1750-1850 : a comparative study of Lochtayside and Assynt
The object of this study is to examine the rural settlement forms of the later 18th and early 19th century in the Scottish Highlands by means of documentary evidence and field remains. The main manuscript and documentary sources are described in Chapter 1 and the forms of field remains, -their recording and analysis, are explained. A brief review of research into Scottish rural settlement over the past 100 years, particularly Highland settlement and the changing approaches and interpretations is covered in Chapter 2. The developments of the period 1750-1850 had some of their origins in the 17th century, and the main historical events in the Highlands which had a bearing on agriculture, population and settlement from the late 17th to the early 19th century are reviewed in Chapter 3. The major part of the thesis is a comparative study Of Lochtayside and Assynt based on land surveys of the period 1769-1774 and this is dealt with in Chapters 4 to 10. Chapter 4 introduces Lochtayside in its physical setting and its historical development prior to 1769 is covered by references to early maps (particularly Pont and the Military Survey)and the history of the Campbells of Glenorchy/ Breadalbane. The rural landscape of Lochtayside in 1769 is discussed in Chapter 5, with reference to population, agriculture, forms of tenancy, rents and occupations. Chapter 6 examines and discusses the field remains of the earlier settlement pattern - the townships, settlement clusters, shielings, mills, etc. The physical landscape of Assynt and its pre-1774 landowners are examined in Chapter 7 and the evidence of early maps is discussed. The picture of the Assynt rural landscape as interpreted from John Home's-Survey of 1774 is presented in Chapter 8 with a discussion of, land divisions, tenants and nontenants. The surviving remains of the settlements and the special role of the 'sheelings' in the late 18th century Assynt-agrarian economy are discussed in Chapter A direct comparison of Lochtayside and Assynt in 1769- 1774 is made in Chapter 10, looking at differences. or similarities in physical geography, history, population density, landholding systems, settlement forms and survival of remains. Some extra evidence-from other sites in Perthshire and Sutherland, including two excavated sites, is examined in Chapter 11 and compared with Lochtayside and Assynt. Conclusions on settlement groupings, forms of houses and buildings in the areas studied are made in Chapter 12, and 10 generalisations, which in themselves are a summary of the thesis in terms of settlement development, variation and survival, are presented.