ABSTRACT

In this book we have traced elements of continuity and change in Scotland’s landscape from late-medieval rural settlements and field systems to the highly regimented patterns of enclosures created by the improvers, from primitive bloomery forges to sophisticated industrial complexes like the Carron Ironworks and the mills of New Lanark. It has not been possible to cover every aspect of social and economic change that impinged on the Scottish landscape during this period within the compass of a single volume. Many interesting topics have only been touched on or have had to be omitted entirely but we hope that this survey will encourage readers to follow them up elsewhere. To facilitate this we have produced some suggestions for further reading. This list is only an introductory guide; residents and visitors to Scotland alike will find much more material of interest in local libraries. From this it is only a short step to looking at old maps and printed sources and from this to becoming involved in hunting through original archive material. No matter how interesting research in libraries and record offices may be there is nothing like the exhilaration of getting out in the open air and studying the landscape itself for traces of the imprint of humanity in times past. The beauty of the Scottish landscape has often been extolled and its most classic landscape features, whether natural or man-made, are familiar the world over from innumerable photographs. However, as this book has shown, much of the story of human influence on this landscape, even in comparatively recent times, is still unclear and has yet to be examined in detail. Whether in your home area or holiday venue we hope that this book will encourage you to look more closely at the countryside around you. You may start to pose questions about how the countryside has developed and then to begin searching for the answers!