A window into the 18th century: John Home’s estate plans

The NRS maps and plans collection contains many exceptional items, but we’re looking today at the estate plans of John Home. Home was a land surveyor who worked across Scotland during the mid to late 18th century. It was something of a golden age of surveying in Scotland – a time when estate plans were much in demand from landowners wanting to assess and ‘improve’ their holdings.

His plans are highly detailed and contain a wealth of information which users may not initially expect. A major point of interest is that many give the names of the owners, tenants or possessors of individual holdings in rural areas, or of dwellings in his urban plans. A good example is this plan of Stonehaven in 1795, which gives individuals’ names and the location of their dwellings.

Detail from: National Records of Scotland, RHP142494: Plan of Stonehaven, Kincardineshire, 1795.

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