Small landholdings: landownership and registration - research summary

An insight and narrative into how small landholdings (SLHs) were established and how their ownership has changed over time, as recommended by the Review of Legislation Governing Small Landholdings in Scotland.

2. Methodology

2.1. In order to construct a narrative of how small landholding schemes were established and the ways in which their ownership changed over time, the team undertook a detailed archival search of schemes from 1911 onwards. The archives were predominantly those of the Board of Agriculture for Scotland [BoAS], the Scottish Land Court [SLC] and other government agencies, along with some relevant private estates archives.

2.2. A great deal of archival material survives, documenting in some detail the establishment of schemes both pre-WWI and post-WWI. Given the time constraints on the project, seven case studies offering a chronological and geographical spread were selected. The case study schemes were:

Pre-1914 schemes:

  • Kinninghall, Hawick (October 1912)
  • Crossbankhead, Dumfriesshire (September 1912)
  • Bennicarrigan, Arran (October 1912)
  • Shedog, Kilmory, Arran (December 1913)

Post-1918 schemes:

  • Grassmillees, Ayrshire (March 1920)
  • Springbank, Arran (December 1920)
  • Drimaghinier, Arran (February 1927)

2.3. Overall, the scale of the archival record reduces dramatically from the late 1920s, with only patchy records for each scheme from that date, normally recording any disputes or resignations of tenancies - although these are not systematically recorded either. The latest archival material is clumped around the late 1930s, with a very small amount in the 1960s, though this is not linear or complete.


Email: Emma Glen

Back to top