A History of Scotland's Landscapes

By Fiona Watson

Format: Hardback

A unique guide to the landscapes of Scotland that explains key features, how to recognise them and what they mean.

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Historic Environment Scotland

Historic Environment Scotland is a lead public body established to investigate, care for and promote Scotland's historic environment. They take on the responsibilities of Historic Scotland and the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments, which has been managing and recording the historic environment for more than a century. Their books deliver wonderfully illustrated and immaculately researched titles to anyone with an interest in Scotland's history and heritage.

Product Description


It is easy to overlook how much of our history is preserved all around us - the way the narrative of bygone days has been inscribed in fields, forests, hills and mountains, roads, railways, canals, lochs, buildings and settlements. Indeed, footprints of the past are to be found almost everywhere. The shapes of fields may reveal the brief presence of the Romans or the labours of medieval peasants; while great heaps of abandoned spoil or the remains of gargantuan holes in the ground mark the rapid decline of heavy industry in the recent past.  

These evocative spaces provide unique evidence for the way this land and its wealth of resources has been lived in, worked on, ruined, abandoned, restored and celebrated - offering valuable clues that bring the past to life far more effectively than any written history.

A History of Scotland's Landscapes explores the many ways that we have used, adapted and altered our environment over thousands of years. Full of maps, photographs and drawings, it offers a remarkable new perspective on Scotland - a unique guide to tracing memories, events and meanings in the forms and patterns of our surroundings.

Additional Information

Additional Information

Format Hardback
Imprint Historic Environment Scotland
Publication Date 8 Mar 2018
ISBN 9781902419930
Number of Pages 272

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Press Reviews

'This interesting and informative history will be treasured . . . I look forward to approaching future walks with a renewed understanding of the forces that shaped our towns and countryside, and the people who lived and worked here before us.'

'no Scottish coffee table is complete without this beautifully presented book . . . an enjoyable, colourful read.'

'Some books are simply enjoyable. Others are a joy. "A History of Scotland's Landscapes" is both. There's something about a large, beautifully-produced and magnificently-illustrated book that brings out the inner five-year-old in all of us: the sense of "wow" as you first open the book and leaf through, simply soaking in the pictures and the scale of the authors' achievement . . . An outstanding book likely to be of immense value to anyone who takes an interest in the landscapes we see around us in Scotland.'

‘Epic . . . [The] story is told in many different ways. It is told in the peat banks which cut through the moor like trench systems from the Western Front. It is told in corrugations of lazybeds and the hillsides. It is told in the curl of houses facing boats around the shore of Loch Hourn at Arnisdale. It is found in the extraordinary complex of high stone enclosures at An Lag on Hirta. It is found in the remnants of straight stone walls which fan out from such townships as Barvas and Carloway in Lewis.' 

'There are so many books about the wondrous beauty of Scotland's mountains, rivers, forests and lochs. But I was engrossed from the offset by high-quality photography, accompanied by serious but accessible historical and archaeological prose . . . This is a book you're really going to want on your coffee table.' 

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