Museums for Family Historians – Rural Life

In medieval Scotland, land holding was governed by a feudal system. The King held the land of Scotland from God and that land was apportioned out in a pyramidical structure, with the cottars at the base, occupying small portions of land and employed as hired labour. The farms were usually worked by several families in a ‘ferm-toun’ and the land divided up in a system of ‘run rig’.

The feudal system became blurred over time and after the Act of Union in 1707, the major land holders introduced significant agricultural improvements. This led to the Lowland Clearances where small tenant farmers were dispossessed to create much larger units, and to the better-known Highland Clearances where much of the population was removed for sheep farming.

In the 20th century, Scottish agriculture was exposed to world markets, resulting in ever-increasing prices and the introduction of intensive farming and mechanisation.

Aberdeenshire Farming Museum

Alford Heritage Museum

Arran Heritage Museum

Auchindrain Township

Corrigall Farm Museum

Ellisland Farm Museum name

Gearrannan Blackhouse Village

Highland Folk Museum

Kirbuster Farm Museum

Laidhay Croft Museum

  • Address: Laidhay, Dunbeath, Caithness KW6 6EH
  • Tel: 01593 731270
  • E-mail: (Contact form online)
  • Website:

Museum of Farming Life

National Museum of Farming Life

Skye Museum of Farming Life

[Image Stockvault by alice hervouet]

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