Division of commonty in Scotland: the use of the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century estate plans held by the Scottish Record Office in a study of historical geography.
Adams, Ian H.
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For many years the historical geographer in Scotland has been handicapped by the dearth of detailed source lists on which to base his research. Even great collections of manuscript plans, like those of the Scottish Record Office, lay unlisted. A major step forward occurred when the Scottish Record Office decided to employ a geographer to catalogue their collection of eighteenth and nineteenth -century estate plans which had been accumulating, from various sources, over the last century and a quarter. It was the author's good fortune to be invited to undertake this task which, through the passage of the last two and a half years, has turned into a labour of love. From this work emerged the realization that the rural landscape of lowland Scotland was of relatively recent origin and that much of it could be explained by detailed examination of plans such as I was in the process of cataloguing. The whole subject of the creation of the rural was beyond the scope of a thesis of this nature; thus I have restricted my analysis to the division of the former commonties and the influence this has had on the present landscape.