After a cool early morning stroll through my nearest local village I walked past a fundraising car boot sale. I was tempted to start a small Sylvanian Army by equipping small furry clothed creatures with shields, swords and spears (Redwall style) but kindly left them all to be discovered with delight by a local child.
Instead I bought a Scottish Croft for a Pound.
Thankfully I don’t now have to upsticks and move Northwards to embrace the Good Life of Self Sufficiency anytime soon, only to find both the off-grid smallholding novelty and the delusion wear out quickly. Then write a book about it.
Or maybe not – because it is a very very tiny Croft House and a very small piece of land. It also comes with a tiny flock of sheep built in!
Instead I moved in some suitably tiny tenants into this little resin Lilliput Lane building – some of my vintage 15mm Peter Laing 1715 or 45 Rising figures. I’m not too sure if they are happy about the sheep or the related Highland Clearances that will follow in the next century.
These 15mm Peter Laing highlanders that I bought as a youngster are here:
Those precious few Peter Laing sheep have a lot to answer for! Posted when I thought only had one surviving 15mm sheep: https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/06/29/peter-laing-sheep/
Crofting, Clearances, Sheep or People?
The Highland Clearances (or the “eviction of the Gaels”) were the forced evictions of many tenants in the Scottish Highlands and Islands, mostly in the period 1750 to 1860.
“After the initial swift and bloodthirsty retribution for the Jacobite rebellions, laws were instigated to prevent any further groundswell of support for the previous monarchs. In 1747 ‘The Act of Proscription’ was passed. Clan tartan had become popular during the Jacobite years and this was outlawed under this new act, as were bagpipes and the teaching of Gaelic. The Act was a direct attack on the Highland culture and way of life, and attempted to eradicate it from a modern and Hanoverian-loyal Scotland.”
The article continues: “It was not only Highland culture that disappeared over this period but also the Highlanders themselves, for the most prosaic of reasons: money. It was deduced by those landowners on whose lands the clans lived and worked, that sheep were exponentially more financially productive than people. The wool trade had begun to boom and there was literally more value in sheep than people. So, what followed was an organized and intentional removal of the population from the area. In 1747, another Act was passed, the ‘Heritable Jurisdictions Act’, which stated that anyone who did not submit to English rule automatically forfeited their land: bend the knee or surrender your birthright …”
The hundred or so years between 1750 and 1860 saw the bulk of the Highland Clearances, forced eviction from farms or a move into alternative Crofting tenancies. For many, it led to eventual forced emigration to avoid famine and failed industries like kelp farming. It is still an emotive area of many people’s family histories scattered around the world. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Highland_Clearances
So a Scottish Croft for only an English Pound has a lot of complex and partisan economic, social, colonial and military history lurking behind it.
With such big spending, I could have posted this blog post on Pound Store Plastic Warriors.
Two other wargames blogs on a 1:72 Jacobite theme
Rod’s interesting Airfix conversions https://rodwargaming.wordpress.com
Tony Kitchen at Tin Soldiering On http://tonystoysoldiers.blogspot.com/search/label/The%2045
For more of my Lilliput Lane buildings of this sadly vanished uk manufacturer: https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/11/lilliput-lane-buildings-for-15mm-figures/
Now back to researching those early Scouting handbooks and Wide Games scenarios. Scottish Scouts were allowed to wear kilts.
Blog posted by Mark Man of
TiN on 28 July 2019
4 thoughts on “I bought a Scottish Croft for only £1”
What a bonnie braw wee hoose. It looks dreich in the glens.
A great find indeed. Interesting re Redwall idea. I remember making a joke by calling them Transylvanian Familes much to the annoyance of a friend’s daughter.
Snap / jinx! That joke goes round in our family too. Mostly because of the funny animated Hotel Transylvania movies …
Hole your Lakes Trip is going / went well. Did you get to Soldiers of Silloth? Website gone but still on Trip Advisor https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Attraction_Review-g1182177-d7103646-Reviews-Soldiers_in_Silloth-Silloth_Cumbria_England.html
Excellent idea! We have some Christmas houses like this at work; I’d use them if I had figures small enough.
Here’s a apropos classic for you, from one of my favorite folksingers:
This was a fluke find from a now vanished British company. Most of their houses aren’t humble enough for gaming.
There are on Tony and Rod’s blogs details of the plastic 1:72 jacobites era figures which overlap as my 15mm Peter Laings do with 1776/ French Indian Wars /Marlburians ranges
A good sad emotive song of the betrayals and complexities of changing Scots politics from 45 onwards and one reason the colonies had so many Scots and Irish settlers. As always in Civil Wars the ordinary ‘little’ people get caught up and suffer …