A New Way of Living

Georgian Town Planning in the Highlands & Islands

By Gordon Haynes

Format: Multiple Formats

A study of the origins of the revolution in social & physical planning in the ScottishHighlands & Islands. Reveals the rationale for the expansive building programme post-1750 & identifies key personnel. Analyses the qualities of urban form of selected towns in relation to the original plans.

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Whittles Publishing

Whittles Publishing has been established for some years but recently has expanded significantly, becoming a well-known technical publisher on a global stage. They publish quality, well-produced and attractive books and specialise in the following subjects: geomatics, civil and structural engineering and applied science. They are also developing new lists in specific disciplines including architecture and landscape, manufacturing and materials technology, fuel and energy science and geotechnics. They also publish non-technical books within the following areas: maritime, pharology, military history, nature and exploration.

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A New Way of Living tells the broad story of the development of new towns in the Scottish Highlands and Islands post-1750. It pulls together the various strands that influenced the development of the North West Highlands after the disastrous risings and charts the government-backed attempts at establishing fishing villages from Argyll to Sutherland, as well as private initiatives to do likewise along the shores of the Moray Firth. Old harbours were improved and new ones created in an attempt to capitalise on the rich but fickle fishery resource of the continental shelf, many engineers making their reputations in the process. Roads and later railways were built to connect these new settlements to their markets which were tens or hundreds of miles away across mountain ranges, presenting monumental challenges for the designers and workforce. In the farming country of Morayshire, north Aberdeenshire and the old counties of Banffshire and Buchan, landowners led these improvements, often bestowing their names on their villages and towns such as Archiestown and Macduff.The entire programme, which came to a faltering close in the 1830s, was designed to increase the profitability of estates and improve the wealth and health of the population by bringing law, order and civilisation to what was previously a scattered population with very limited access to modern services and amenities.


In many cases the plan succeeded although there were some notable failures and many misguided enterprises, the consequences of which left fledgling communities high and dry without any viable industry. This was a period when a new way of living was imposed upon a population that had no alternative but to accept it or leave for the colonies. The book demonstrates how the planners borrowed concepts from history and how the more successful layouts were developed with some degree of building regulation applied to a sensibly zoned plan. Many of the places studied, particularly those on the coast, are now sought-after as holiday home locations, thus proving the enduring appeal of picturesque settings of terraced cottages clustered around a harbour or bay.The rationale for their existence may have changed but the constant appeal of the plan and building fabric of many of the new towns illustrates the enduring worth of this Georgian legacy.

Additional Information

Additional Information

Format Multiple Formats
Imprint Whittles Publishing
Publication Date 8 Jun 2015
SKU 9781849951531-grouped
Number of Pages 198

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Press Reviews

'...an important part of the story of Scotland, and fascinating background for any visitor... Gordon Haynes is to be congratulated... has produced a book of lasting value. ...a book we know will be referring to time and again in the future... This is a book that should be read by anyone living in or visiting the large swathe of Scotland it covers'. Undiscovered Scotland

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