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TITLE
Cattle Sale, June 1957
EXTERNAL ID
PC_HIGHLANDLIVESTOCK_035
PLACENAME
Askernish
DISTRICT
South Uist
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
INVERNESS: South Uist
DATE OF IMAGE
June 1957
PERIOD
1950s
CREATOR
Highland Livestock Heritage Society
SOURCE
Highland Livestock Heritage Society
ASSET ID
23489
KEYWORDS
cattle
droving
livestock
crofting
cattle markets
cattle sales
auctions
Cattle Sale, June 1957

This photograph shows a cattle sale taking place in the Outer Hebrides. The location is likely to be near Askernish in South Uist.

Cattle buyers and an auctioneer made twice yearly visits to the Western Isles from the mainland. The buyers purchased small numbers of cattle from crofters at these local sales and gradually formed large herds which were then transported by boat to a rail terminus on the mainland. From there they were taken on to larger markets.


Selling a few cattle each year was a necessity for many Highland families. Not only was the income important but the relatively poor grazing ground could not sustain large herds. Small numbers of animals would be purchased from crofters in outlying areas and by doing this drovers would gradually accumulate a significant herd over the course of a few weeks.

At one time, cattle from the Outer Isles would be transferred by boat to Skye. There they would join livestock from that island and together these large herds would be driven down to the narrows at Glenelg where they were encouraged to swim across to the mainland. The cattle were then walked along traditional drove routes to the markets or trysts at Beauly, Crieff or Falkirk. This practise continued for nearly 200 years until the railway provided a faster alternative.

With advances in road and rail transport, small local sales of cattle took place in various parts of Skye and the animals were transported by lorry to the markets on the mainland. Cattle from the Outer Hebrides were shipped to the nearest railway station and then on to market.

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Cattle Sale, June 1957

INVERNESS: South Uist

1950s

cattle; droving; livestock; crofting; cattle markets; cattle sales; auctions

Highland Livestock Heritage Society

Highland Livestock Heritage Society photographs

This photograph shows a cattle sale taking place in the Outer Hebrides. The location is likely to be near Askernish in South Uist. <br /> <br /> Cattle buyers and an auctioneer made twice yearly visits to the Western Isles from the mainland. The buyers purchased small numbers of cattle from crofters at these local sales and gradually formed large herds which were then transported by boat to a rail terminus on the mainland. From there they were taken on to larger markets.<br /> <br /> <br /> Selling a few cattle each year was a necessity for many Highland families. Not only was the income important but the relatively poor grazing ground could not sustain large herds. Small numbers of animals would be purchased from crofters in outlying areas and by doing this drovers would gradually accumulate a significant herd over the course of a few weeks. <br /> <br /> At one time, cattle from the Outer Isles would be transferred by boat to Skye. There they would join livestock from that island and together these large herds would be driven down to the narrows at Glenelg where they were encouraged to swim across to the mainland. The cattle were then walked along traditional drove routes to the markets or trysts at Beauly, Crieff or Falkirk. This practise continued for nearly 200 years until the railway provided a faster alternative. <br /> <br /> With advances in road and rail transport, small local sales of cattle took place in various parts of Skye and the animals were transported by lorry to the markets on the mainland. Cattle from the Outer Hebrides were shipped to the nearest railway station and then on to market.