Please Sign In | Register
Google pluspinterestShare on Stumble UponShare on RedditFacebookShare on Tumblr
TITLE
The Cas-Chrom in use in Skye
EXTERNAL ID
PC_PRISCUS_WCS6371
DISTRICT
Skye
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
INVERNESS
PERIOD
1890s
CREATOR
George Washington Wilson
SOURCE
Mark Butterworth - Priscus
ASSET ID
29605
KEYWORDS
Skye
Hebrides
crofters
crofts
crofting
spades
poverty
plough
oats
potatoes
The Cas-Chrom in use in Skye

This photograph was taken by Scottish photographer George Washington Wilson (1823-93) and was used to illustrate talks he gave on Highland history. The following description is taken from Washington Wilson's own lecture notes.

The method of cultivating the ground in the Hebrides, and in some parts of the Highland mainland, is no less primitive than grinding the corn; and a Highlander will tell you that the crooked spade is a certain indication of poverty. The ordinary croft of the Isleman is small, and often so steep and rocky that the use of a plough is out of the question, even if the crofter could possess and man one.

Yet a little more energetic cultivation, would in many cases bring its own reward, as the crooked spade, or "cras chron," only turns the surface of the soil; and the crofter's plot being so small the same ground is turned over year after year, the result being a very poor return of oats or potatoes, the former is often never matured, or it may be devoured by the proprietor's game, while the latter is not unfrequently frosted. The haste and hurry of the nineteenth century has not taken hold of the Isleman yet, for they take everything very easily, and even in the spring of the year, when they may be said to be very busy getting the "croft" ready for seed. It is unusual for them to commence working until three or three-and-a-half hours after sunrise, but to give them all credit, they will work as long as they can see.

For guidance on the use of images and other content, please see the Terms and Conditions page.
High Life Highland is a company limited by guarantee registered in Scotland No. SC407011 and is a registered Scottish charity No. SC042593
Powered by Capture

The Cas-Chrom in use in Skye

INVERNESS

1890s

Skye; Hebrides; crofters; crofts; crofting; spades; poverty; plough; oats; potatoes

Mark Butterworth - Priscus

Imaging the Past

This photograph was taken by Scottish photographer George Washington Wilson (1823-93) and was used to illustrate talks he gave on Highland history. The following description is taken from Washington Wilson's own lecture notes.<br /> <br /> The method of cultivating the ground in the Hebrides, and in some parts of the Highland mainland, is no less primitive than grinding the corn; and a Highlander will tell you that the crooked spade is a certain indication of poverty. The ordinary croft of the Isleman is small, and often so steep and rocky that the use of a plough is out of the question, even if the crofter could possess and man one.<br /> <br /> Yet a little more energetic cultivation, would in many cases bring its own reward, as the crooked spade, or "cras chron," only turns the surface of the soil; and the crofter's plot being so small the same ground is turned over year after year, the result being a very poor return of oats or potatoes, the former is often never matured, or it may be devoured by the proprietor's game, while the latter is not unfrequently frosted. The haste and hurry of the nineteenth century has not taken hold of the Isleman yet, for they take everything very easily, and even in the spring of the year, when they may be said to be very busy getting the "croft" ready for seed. It is unusual for them to commence working until three or three-and-a-half hours after sunrise, but to give them all credit, they will work as long as they can see.