Magazine
Latest Issue
Glen Catacol, on the Isle of Arran. © allan wright / Alamy Stock Photo

Glen Catacol, on the Isle of Arran. © Allan Wright / Alamy Stock Photo

Our land

Inside Scotland’s inspiring struggle to give everyone a stake in the ground beneath their feet—and the lessons for confronting inequality everywhere

By David McAllister   March 2021

Let’s begin with a story about a man called Lord Rossmore. Rossmore was an Anglo-Irish aristocrat and MP who, in 1820, inherited an estate on the Isle of Arran off Scotland’s west coast through the dowry of his wife, the illegitimate daughter of the eighth Duke of Hamilton. One day, the new patriarch invited the village of Catacol, on his estate, to a party at his residence down in High Dougarie. Rossmore’s benevolence was soon thrown into doubt, however, when his servants barred anyone from leaving the residence early. When the villagers were eventually released, they returned home to find their cottages and runrig farmland had been set on fire and razed to the ground by Rossmore’s agents.

It turned out that Rossmore, who walked past the dry-stone and thatch cottages on his way to hunting trips in Glen Catacol, had found these “blackhouses” unsightly, particularly when in…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to letters@prospect-magazine.co.uk

More From Prospect