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TITLE
A crofting township at Houghary, North Uist
EXTERNAL ID
QZP99_93134_07_09
PLACENAME
Hougharry
DISTRICT
North Uist
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
INVERNESS: North Uist
SOURCE
Edinburgh and Scottish Collection, Edinburgh Central Library
ASSET ID
38469
KEYWORDS
townships
crofting
islands
villages
A crofting township at Houghary, North Uist

This photograph shows the crofting township of Hougharry on the west coast of North Uist. Crofts are not houses but small holdings. The system of crofting as we know it today began to take shape as a result of the Highland Clearances. A crofting township was made up of several families who worked the same croft land. Land was allocated by a 'run-rig' system which meant that each crofter was given strips of land. These strips were reallocated annually to ensure that the good and the bad land was shared equally. This system did not encourage improvement of the soil and was replaced by a 'lot' system where each crofter was given his own individual lot of land. The lots were kept deliberately small by landlords so that the tenants would be forced to take on additional work for the landlord. Conditions for crofters deteriorated and eventually the Napier Commission was set up to investigate which resulted in the passing of the 1886 Crofter's Act. This act provided security of tenure for crofters and conditions in crofting townships improved. As well as an individual piece of land each crofter in a township was entitled to use of common grazings for their livestock


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A crofting township at Houghary, North Uist

INVERNESS: North Uist

townships; crofting; islands; villages

Edinburgh and Scottish Collection, Edinburgh Central Library

I F Grant Photographic Archive

This photograph shows the crofting township of Hougharry on the west coast of North Uist. Crofts are not houses but small holdings. The system of crofting as we know it today began to take shape as a result of the Highland Clearances. A crofting township was made up of several families who worked the same croft land. Land was allocated by a 'run-rig' system which meant that each crofter was given strips of land. These strips were reallocated annually to ensure that the good and the bad land was shared equally. This system did not encourage improvement of the soil and was replaced by a 'lot' system where each crofter was given his own individual lot of land. The lots were kept deliberately small by landlords so that the tenants would be forced to take on additional work for the landlord. Conditions for crofters deteriorated and eventually the Napier Commission was set up to investigate which resulted in the passing of the 1886 Crofter's Act. This act provided security of tenure for crofters and conditions in crofting townships improved. As well as an individual piece of land each crofter in a township was entitled to use of common grazings for their livestock <br /> <br /> <br /> This image can be purchased.<br /> For further information about purchasing and prices please email<br /> <a href="mailto: central.edsc.library@edinburgh.gov.uk">Edinburgh Central Library</a>