Ferries in the Firthlands: Communications, Society and Culture Along a Northern Scottish Rural Coast (c.1600- c.1809)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle



View graph of relations

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-148
Number of pages19
JournalRural History
Issue number2
Early online date14 Sep 2016
StatePublished - 31 Oct 2016


Press / Media

Research outputs


This article identifies the social and cultural history of the early modern tidal water ferry, its skippers and passengers, by way of evidence from a northern Scottish rural coast. Evidence from the region’s ‘firthlands’ reveals an amphibious communications network which transformed gradually prior to the early nineteenth century. The article argues that the defining local topography of coastal adjacency both influenced, and was influenced by, the people who lived their lives within and around it. A system of short range communications over and between the estuaries and firths is highlighted from a Coastal Hisory perspective, leading to the examination of a ‘pluriactive’ microhistorical space, linking south-east Sutherland, the eastern edges of Easter Ross and the Black Isle and the Nairnshire seaboard. The article thereby opens up possibilities for comparison with other peoples, places and periods, in which being ‘alongshore’ was integral to rural community construction, coalescence, dynamism and friction.

Bibliographic note

© Cambridge University Press 2016 https://www.cambridge.org/core/services/open-access-policies/open-access-journals/green-open-access-policy-for-journals

Related by author

  1. The Scots in Poland in Memory and History

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

  2. The New Coastal History: Cultural and Environmental Perspectives from Scotland and Beyond

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

Download statistics

No data available

ID: 1920192