The traditional picture of the pre-improvement Scottish countryside is of a landscape that was unchanging and a rural economy that was backward. The sweeping away of this system during the later eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries under the impact of the ‘Agricultural Revolution’ has been one of the most enduring images of Scottish economic history. Within the last few years new research has substantially altered our perception of early-modern Scottish agriculture. It is clear that there was much more regional and local variation in farming systems and, in particular, more change at an early period than has been realised. In the process of dispelling old myths, however, many new questions and problems have been thrown up.