Scotland’s Rural Past

Due to essential maintenance Scotland's Rural Past will be unavailable between 16:00 and 17:00 on Thursday 21st August 2014.

Welcome to the Scotland’s Rural Past website. Scotland's Rural Past was a five year initiative, run by the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS) with partnership funding. The project, which ran from October 2006 to September 2011, worked with local communities to research, record and promote Scotland's vanishing historic rural settlements and landscapes. Over 60 community-led projects were initiated across Scotland during the duration, and you can find out what our participating projects did on our Projects pages. Together these projects have really improved our understanding of Scotland's rural heritage, from Shetland to the Scottish Borders. The valuable work of our volunteers across Scotland was recognised by the British Academy in the British Archaeological Awards 2008, giving Scotland's Rural Past a Highly Commended in the Best Archaeological Projects category.

This website provides guidance and advice for anyone wishing to investigate the archaeology of abandoned rural settlements or explore the stories and lives of the people that lived in them. Much of this advice is applicable to other Community Archaeology projects too.  You can also discover more about our Education programme with schools across Scotland and, if you are a teacher, you might be interested in our Resource Packs. This information is all in our Learning section.

Although Scotland's Rural Past has now finished, RCAHMS is still committed to supporting Community Archaeology projects. The Community Archaeology Team can be contacted by email at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Click here to find out more about Scotland’s Rural Past.

Additional Information

Photo Competition Winners

February 2011


RUNNER UP PHOTO: They breed 'em tough in Moidart
by Ken Bowker

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