10.14.5 Argyll, Scotland and Empire

Improved communication has been one of the boons of the modern period connecting people and places, raw materials and industry. As such, communications and transport networks possess a material legacy. Central to understanding the gaelic cattle economy is an understanding of how animals were moved to and from pasture and to markets. Donald Adamson recently completed his PhD on droving using Argyll and Bute as a case study (University of Glasgow), highlighting the survival of these features and their potential for addressing wider research questions (Adamson 2014).

Road-building projects were initiated to facilitate troops along the Military Way after the Jacobite Rebellion, followed by improvements made to Toll Roads including the very recent improvements by Pulpit rock on Loch Lomond. Roads brought change and new faces, but also exposure which led initially to some resistance and violence. Just as roads began to connect people and markets, so too did canals. Canal building started at the end of the 18th century with the Crinan canal (Rennie 1792) and the West Highland Railway. Similarly, improvements to harbours assisted the fishing industry and contributed to the development of planned towns. Later there were airfields and airports established especially during the Second World War.