• Old Ways New Roads

Old Ways New Roads

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An extensively illustrated new book published on the occasion of the exhibition by the Hunterian.


In 1725 an extensive military road and bridge-building programme was implemented by the British crown that would transform 18th-century Scotland.

Aimed at pacifying some of her more inaccessible regions and containing the Jacobite threat, General Wade’s new roads were designed to replace ‘the old ways’ and ‘tedious passages’ through the mountains.

Over the next few decades, the laying out of these routes opened up the country to visitors from all backgrounds. After the 1760s, soldiers, surveyors and commercial travellers were joined by leisure tourists and artists, eager to explore Scotland’s antiquities, natural history and scenic landscapes, and to describe their findings in words and images.

In this extensively illustrated book a number of acclaimed experts explore how the Scottish landscape was variously documented, evaluated, planned and imagined in words and images. As well as a fascinating insight into the experience of travellers and tourists, it also considers how they impacted on the experience of the Scottish people themselves.

Full Contents:

Foreword by Mungo Campbell, Deputy Director, The Hunterian

Chapter 1. Writing the Scottish Tour 1720-1830, Nigel Leask

Section 1 The Theatre of War - John Bonehill

Chapter 2. The Ethnology of the 'Old Ways' in Gaelic Scotland, Hugh Cheape

Section 2 Antiquities - Nigel Leask

Chapter 3. Natural History, Fredrik Albritton Jonsson

Section 3 Custom and Improvement - John Bonehill

Chapter 4. Roads, Bridges and Designed Landscapes on the Highland Circuit, Christopher Dingwall

Chapter 5. Scotland's Prospects, John Bonehill

Section 4 Picturesque Prospects and Literary Landscapes - John Bonehill and Nigel Leask

Chapter 6. Portable Knick-knacks or the Material Culture of Travel, Viccy Coltman

Chapter 7. Panoramas and Landscape, Christina Young

Chapter 8. Picturesque Tours of Wales and Ireland, Mary-Ann Constantine and Finola O'Kane

Also includes Bibliography, Photograph Credits and Index.

Notes on Contributors

John Bonehill is Lecturer in Art History at the University of Glasgow, and has published widely on various aspects of eighteenth-century British art and culture.

Mary-Ann Constantine is Reader at the University of Wales Centre of Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies based a tAberystwyth. She has published widely on travel writing and the cultural history of eighteenth-century Wales.

Hugh Cheape is Professor at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, University of the Highlands and Islands, and was formerly Principal Curator in the National Museums Scotland.

Viccy Coltman is Professor of eighteenth-century History of Art at the University of Edinburgh, who specialises in visual and material culture, with a special focus on Scotland.

Christopher Dingwall is an independent landscape historian with a special interest in garden history. He is a trustee and Vice Chairman of Scotland’s Garden and Landscape Heritage.

Anne Dulau Beveridge is Curator at The Hunterian, University of Glasgow, with a strong focus on eighteenth-century British and French art.

Fredrik Albritton Jonsson is Associate Professor of British History at the University of Chicago, and an expert on political economy, history of science and environmental history.

Nigel Leask is Regius Professor of English Language and Literature, University of Glasgow, and an expert on Romanticism, empire and travel writing.

Finola O’Kane is Professor in the School of Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy at University College, Dublin. She is an expert on the designed landscape history of Ireland and of the Atlantic world.

Christina Young is Professor of Conservation and Technical Art History at the University of Glasgow, and is a specialist in the history of painted canvas and theatrical scenery

Edited by:

John Bonehill, Nigel Leask, and Anne Dulau

Paperback: 240 pages
Measures: 24.8 x 2.5 x 24.8 cm
Publisher: Birlinn
Publication Date: January 2021