Rampant Scotland Directory!


Links to pages on the people and events of Scotland's long history, from before the Romans, through the Dark Ages, the Wars of Independence, the Age of Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution. There are separate pages on this site Archaeology and Scottish Castles as well as Famous Scots and Scottish Regiments. There is also a separate section for Museums and for researching your own personal family history in the guide to Genealogy.

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Chronology of Scottish History

A timeline of over 700 historical events which took place over the last 2,000 years of Scottish history, with their precise dates from 76AD to 1999. Links are also provided to around 400 related articles where you can find more information on the events - and the people - that made Scotland what it is today. And the dates are also presented month by month - you can find which Scottish event has its anniversary on your special day!

Historian Robert M Gunn

Created by historian Robert Gunn (also known as 'Skyelander'), this 'Internet Online Scottish History Guide' features Scottish, Medieval, Ancient Celtic, Irish, Welsh, and early medieval British history. There is a focus on Scottish, Irish, Welsh, and English battles, both large and small. There is a lengthy Story of Scotland's History covering Scotland's prehistory, before the Romans through to the creation of Great Britain. So far, the chapters online are:

There is also an extensive Main Index to articles on various elements including:

Scottish, Celtic History & Culture Discussion forums

Want to read and chat about Scottish history and culture? This site is for all who like to chat about Scotland, Celts, history and culture. It's free, has a simple registration to access the fully interactive messageboard and read and take part in the discussions. All welcome, from beginner to advanced. Created by Skyelander (author-historian Robert M. Gunn, MA, FSA Scot) who has been encouraging an interest in Scottish history on the Web since the very early days of the Internet.

ScotClans - History

This site provides one of the longest available lists of Clans and Septs with not only the usual illustrations of tartans and crests but also a brief history of each clan and a location map showing the roots of the clan in Scotland (and a sells a CD-ROM version as well!). It has also created a series of articles about many of the key incidents in Scottish history. While they are not in-depth narratives they do provide a good background to the events (with a number of explanatory maps too) for events such as :

A Brief History of Scotland

Lengthy articles covering many of the major eras of Scottish history. Written - by a Welshman - after the positive vote for a Scottish parliament, and it shows! But it is excellent as a brief introduction to the last 8,000 years of Scottish history. The chapter headings are:

Finally, as an illustration of the impact of Scots around the world, there are lengthy chapters on The Scots in the US and Scots in Canada as well as Scots Down Under.

Highland Historic Environment Record (HER)

This site contains information about tens of thousands of historic buildings, archaeological sites and finds dating from earliest prehistory through to the present day which can be found in the Highland . The complete HER database is available online through these web pages, along with thousands of linked documents and images. The public have been encouraged to flag up other sites of interest or add more information to those already featured. The online HER is fully searchable using the interactive map. There is also a wide range of other resources including themed articles and heritage trails.

A History of Scotland

Historian Neil Oliver has had two series of history programmes on BBC TV and they have now appeared on YouTube and are an excellent introduction to Scottish history from earliest times to almost the present day. The hour-long videos can be found at:

On This Day From BBC Scotland

The expanding content being created by the BBC now includes an "On This Day" feature with dates associated with particular events (similar to the Timeline on the Rampant Scotland site). With the resources of the BBC, many of the events have small illustrations attached to them.

Early British Kingdoms

This is a large web site covering much of the history of Britain in the Dark Ages. From a Scottish perspective there are pages on the following aspects:

  • Kingdoms of Lowland Scotland - a general introduction to the Picts, Dalriada, Goddodin and Strathclyde.
  • Coel Hen - or Coel "the Old" was the first "king" of Northern Britain and is known to most of us through the famous nursery rhyme "Old King Cole was a merry old soul."
  • Kings of Strathclyde - Ceretic, Dumnagual Hen, Riderch Hael (his wife's ring is part of the Glasgow coat of arms), Neithon.
  • Kings of Rheged (Cumbria and beyond) - Gwrast Lledlwm, Meirchion Gul, Elidyr Llydanwyn, Llywarch Hen, Elidyr, Merfyn Frych, Urien Rheged, Owein, St. Kentigern Garthwys, Prince Rhun, Princess Rhiainfelt.

History of Scotland

There is a growing number of elements of the history of Scotland here, particularly in the General History of the Highlands This history is taken from an account of the Highlands and Highland Regiments mostly compiled around 1830. Articles cover subjects such as :

Pages on later periods of Scottish history cover the Declaration of Arbroath in 1320 and the Lords of the Isles. There is also a lengthy detailed article about the Battle of Falkirk during the 1745 Uprising and a similar article on Culloden. There is also a detailed article on the Massacre of Glencoe. And after all the battles and wars there is a Social History of the Highlands with a balanced account of the Clearances.

In Search of Scotland

Based on the TV series "In Search of Scotland", the Web site covers the history of the country from Neolithic, Bronze and Iron Age Scotland, through the Dark Ages and the pioneers of Christianity in Scotland. There are sections on the Wars of Independence, the Stewart Dynasty, the Renaissance, Reformation, Enlightenment to the present day. It also features video clips filmed at historic sites across Scotland and you can test your knowledge in the historical games section.

Scotland History: A Complete Resource Guide

Perhaps not yet "complete" but growing with introductory information on a range of clans, music, kings, castles, counties, battles, landmarks, religion and literature. For many of the topics there are links to selected books available from Amazon if you want to obtain more details.

Scotland on Film

This Web site from the BBC contains lots of film and radio clips from Scotland of yesteryear which you can download. Items range from great sporting moments to the Empire Exhibition, entertainment (people going "Doon the Watter" in 1912 and the world famous Harry Lauder on radio), Clydeside shipbuilding and from locations around Scotland. There are films from the early part of the 20th century as well as more recent times (1950s).

Firth's Celtic Scotland

There are a number of pages on this site covering such subjects as the Pictish High Kings (listed by date from 388 to 842 with notes on each) and Abbots of Iona (the succession of abbots from 547-854, starting with Colum-Cille (St Columba) himself). There are also details of the Fasti Project which aims to create an electronic database of all the pre-Reformation clergy in Scotland.


A fresh look at the Romans in Scotland based on a critical examination of the writings of Tacitus and up-to-date archeaological data.

The British Monarchy - Kings and Queens of Scotland

Articles on the history of the monarchy on the "Royals" own web site. The articles with relevance to Scotland are divided into sections such as:

Burke's Landed Gentry

The classic multi-volume Burke's Landed Gentry has been a standard reference work for generations of researchers into the genealogy of all the major titled and untitled families in the UK. The first volume of the 19th edition, due to be published in August 2001, covers all the people who have power and influence in Scotland. So it not only covers all the expected aristocracy such as peers, lords, barons, knights and clan chiefs but also senior figures in politics, the military, law, religion, education, business and the arts. The Web site promises to have an on-line searchable database from spring 2001 onwards and you can order the printed version via the site.

Scottish Cultural Resource Access Network (SCRAN)

SCRAN will document and making electronically available the collections held by public bodies, including museums, galleries and archives. It will build up a vast national database containing 1.6 million records, more than 100,000 images and interactive multimedia programmes on subjects ranging from shipbuilding on the Clyde to the Romans in Scotland, from the Industrial Revolution to the Vikings. There will be access to top quality cultural resources, including pictures, sound files and moving images. The project is being funded in part by a £7 million award from the Millenium Commission. As the project is only just under way this site is only able to whet our appetites.

National Archives of Scotland

Based in Edinburgh, NAS is the main archive for sources of the history of Scotland as a separate kingdom, her role in the British isles and the links between Scotland and many other countries over the centuries. The NAS holds records spanning the 12th to the 21st centuries, touching on virtually every aspect of Scottish life. Note, however, that while the site gives advice on how to make best use of a visit to the NAS in Edinburgh, none of these records or images are available on-line.

History of Edinburgh

Covers not the history of Edinburgh Castle, the City itself, the Edinburgh Festival, Military Tattoo and Edinburgh Zoo. Additional sections are planned on, for example, the darker events linked to Edinburgh of old such as Burke and Hare, the Grassmarket hangings, and the great Edinburgh plague.

Maps from National Library of Scotland

Scanned images of historical maps of Scotland, including 300 of the most important maps from 1560-1769, Pont's maps of Scotland 1583-1596 and 18th century military maps of Scotland.

Project Pont

Around 1583-1596 Timothy Pont, a young graduate of St Andrews University, undertook his remarkable task of mapping Scotland - the first person to do so in any detail. 77 manuscript maps attributed to Pont have survived, entering the Advocates' Library around 1723. The National Library of Scotland has one of the finest surviving collections of its kind.

History Streets

Not quite "streets" in the case of Scotland, but nevethless highly detailed graphics of historic maps from the 1500 to 1880 of a large number of areas of Scotland (as well as the rest of the UK & Ireland, Americas, Middle East & Far East). All images can be reviewed by using a zoom functionality which allows the user to review the maps in a surprising level of clear detail. There are maps by such important cartography as William Roy's first survey of Scotland in 1748-1755 creating a library of over 130 historical maps. Access to the site is free and you can purchase printed copies of any of the maps.

Pencils of Light

These are two albums of the Edinburgh Calotype Club, the first photographic club in the world, are among the earliest photograph albums in the world ever assembled. They contain over 300 images by a group of pioneering Scottish photographers working in Edinburgh and St. Andrews. Some of the pictures are hard to see and are of historic interest only, others are very good.

The Pictish Nation

A lengthy narrative of the origins and history of the Picts, followed by further details of Pictish Kings and MacAlpin's Treason. In Ancient Names of Scotland there is a discussion of the origins of Scotland's name. There is also a lengthy page of links to other Pictish-related sites.

Conflicts of the Clans is a text of a rare book, issued from the Foulis press in 1764, entitled "The History of the Feuds and Conflicts Among the Clans in the Northern Parts of Scotland and in the Western Isles: from the year M.XX1 unto M.B.C.XIX, now first published from a manuscript wrote in the reign of King James VI."

Scottish Highlands and Islands by Sconemac

"Sconemac" is a historian whose artistic, research and literary talents have been put to good use in a wide range of Web pages. The list keeps expanding but includes :

History of Strathearn

While concentrating on history from a perspective of Strathearn in Perthshire, many of the historical events and people in the broader history of Scotland are covered also. Starting with the Geology of the area including the Highland Boundary Fault Line and Earthquake House at Comrie, there is then an interesting Time Line relating Strathearn with Scotland's major historical events and a section on the Historical Figures associated with the area. The meaning and origins of Placenames in Strathearn are explained and the narrative continues with pages on such subjects as:

Battle of Prestonpans 1745

This resource provides news, interactivity and information on the Battle of Prestonpans and the charitable association Battle of Prestonpans [1745] Heritage Trust. The site comemorates the Battle and seeks to promote the campaign to better commemorate the battle. In addition to details of the historical background and the battle itself, the site includes a variety of multimedia files about the conflict taken from plays and documentaries, as well as ain image gallery and articles and poetry.

History of the Orkney Islands

Extensive Timeline of Orkney History with additional pages on aspects such as Historical Characters such as Henry Sinclair, Earl of Roslin (who is reputed to have reached North America 100 years before Columbus) and Death of Haakon the Old in Orkney in 1263 plus the Orkneyinga Saga.

Ayrshire History

The history of the county and its people, and the local history of its parishes, towns and villages. Most articles are illustrated and cover a range of subjects including James Boswell who came from Auchinleck and Killochan Castle.

Ayrshire Working Lives

This Website displays images of industrial, commercial and agricultural heritage in Ayrshire and was been launched as a result of co-operation between three library authorities, East Ayrshire Arts and Museums, the Scottish Agricultural College at Auchincruive and Ayrshire Archives. There are over 400 images on display, telling the story of working life in Ayrshire through to the modern age. Topics include fishing, agriculture, building and transport and there is also background history to help the casual or professional researcher. Users are also invited to contribute further information about any of the images.

Scots in Alexandria, Virginia

Alexandria, Virginia, 6 miles south of Washington DC, was founded in the middle of the 18th century by a group that included several Scottish traders. From its earliest days, Scots played important roles in the town’s development and growth, from a simple tobacco port to a major regional transportation center. The Web site charts the involvement of many of these Scots in the town.

Thunderbird North American Indian Society

This is the Scottish section of the above society and it highlights and celebrates the many unique links which exist between Scotland and the Native Americans. There is also an extensive section on Buffalo Bill's Wild West in Scotland.

Scottish History Tour

Consisting of a number of different elements, including a links page, an essay on Settlement of Dalriada, AD300-800 and Sherrifs and Thanes and the sheriffdom in Scotland from their earliest times into the beginning of the thirteenth century plus the Act of Union in 1603. There are also articles assisting pupils doing the Certificate of Sixth Year Studies history, covering Scottish Wars of Independence 1100-1329 including essay questions, articles and a reading list.

Magic Dragon

A large site covering a range of historical and other subjects. From a Scottish perspective the pages on Robert the Bruce and William Wallace are particularly interesting, including:

  • Images of Wallace - a selection of images of Wallace throughout the centuries since his death.
  • Images of Robert the Bruce - one portrait from life, plus others imagined by artists throughout the centuries.
  • 'Braveheart' - Information, pictures from the oscar-winning movie and more history.
  • Scenes, Battles, Relics - some of the places where Wallace and Bruce lived and fought for Scotland's freedom.
  • Ancient Kings of Scotland - Kenneth the left-handed, Colin the White, and many others.
  • The Ultimate King Arthur Web Guide links to web sites on King Arthur plus the intriguing theory that King Arthur and Camelot were Scottish.
  • "Made in Scotland" - contributions to the world made by Scots.
  • Scotland's Capital - brief notes and some nice graphics on Edinburgh.
  • Scottish Legends - The Fian Warriors, the ancient legend that an army of sleeping warriors is waiting in a cave in the Eildon Hills until the day comes when all Gaeldom shall rise against its oppressors, based on a story by Sir Walter Scott.
  • Books about Scotland and writers too.

Cultural Landmarks in Scotland,

Part of the Scotland HolidayNet site, there are a number of illustrated articles giving the history behind some of the buildings and locations in Southern Scotland:

  • There is a page on Mary Queen of Scots House in Jedburgh and the Murder of Darnley
  • A well visited sandstone statue of William Wallace carved in 1814, stands overlooking the Tweed Valley.
  • There have been articles in the press about the rediscovery, during excavations at Melrose Abbey, of a casket said to contain the Heart of Robert the Bruce. This page has an illustration of the casket and its background plus biographical details of this Scottish hero.
  • The history of the The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders from its founding in 1794 is told here too.
  • Stone of Destiny
  • Eildon Hills the location of one of the largest Celtic Hill Forts in Scotland side by side with one of the largest Roman Fortified Garrisons. The Romans and Celts mixed and co-existed in the Tweed Valley and recent excavations at the Trimontium Roman garrison are attempting to find out more about their relationship.
  • Hadrian's Wall built to "separate Romans from "barbarians".....
  • New Lanark where Robert Owen, a cotton mill owner established a revolutionary family educational program and enlightened working conditions.
  • Some Castles in Scotland and Scottish Historic Houses are covered in detail in the "castles" section of Rampant Scotland.

500 Years Of Printing in Scotland

2008 was the quincentenary of the printing of the first book in Scotland - a vernacular poem by John Lydgate "The Complaint of the Black Knight" which was printed on 4 April 1508. The anniversary produced a wide range of local events and initiatives across Scotland. The associated Web site gives details of these, plus a brief outline of the history of printing in Scotland.

All About Romance: Historical Cheat Sheet

Designed as an aid to authors writing historical romances about Scotland, the site has a number of articles on aspects of Scottish history including:

Images of William Wallace and Robert the Bruce

A series of various thumbnail images and larger versions of William Wallace and Robert the Bruce based on films, paintings, sculptures and stained glass windows. The site also contains images from the film Braveheart and illustrations and brief narrative on Battlegrounds, Scenes and Relics including Stirling Bridge and Bannockburn. There are also images of Wallace Monument including Wallace's Sword.


Pages dedicated to keeping alive the spirit of Braveheart and the interest in Scottish history, culture and politics which Braveheart helped awaken. This is a large, long-running site which includes pages on such diverse subjects as:

The Clearances

This website tells some of the many different stories from the Highland Clearances, their aftermath and consequences. The extracts have been selected to allow the readers to make up their own minds on whether the Clearances were ethnic cleansing or economic necessity - or something in-between.

His Majesty King James VI

An exhaustive set of pages providing all you need to know and more about the first king of both Scotland and England - biography, family, picture gallery, his writings and achievements including the authorised version of the Bible.

A site on the ill-fated Darien Scheme in Panama at the end of the 17th century gives a comprehensive list of the principal characters, the vessels and dates.

Scottish Railways and Steamers

Ewan Crawford has created a vast compendium of railways in Scotland from their earliest beginnings up to the present day. There is a Chronicle of events, with lots of dates of events from before 1700 and a section on the Biographies of the engineers and contractors who created the railways in Scotland. The Locomotive Builders is a list of locomotive building companies with dates of operation and links where appropriate and the Railway and Steamers has Railway Steam packet companies and fleet lists. The section on the Trains themselves has lots of photographs of locomotives and trains, categorised by class. The Alpahabetic List of Companies is an index of around 3,000 places, companies and people associated with Scottish railways. Some of the more well-known railway companies and lines which are covered by the site includes:


The Clydesite Web site has three distinct areas - Archives of recent and not so recent shipping and shipbuilding activity on the Clyde, up-to-date information through the Clyde Shipping Bulletin and an online database of 20,000 ships built on the Clyde.

Free Historic Maps

Large scale maps dated from between 1846 and 1899. You can locate a map by entering a place name, address or coordinate (OS Grid Reference) then click the Search button. Alternatively you can go to the County Gazetteer to select a place name.

Elsewhere, in an extensive set of links to UK Primary Documents you can read the full Declaration of Arbroath in its original Latin (plus a translation if your Latin is a bit rusty).

Teara Encyclopedia of New Zealand - The Scots

This is an extensive history of Scots in New Zealand beginning with the sailors and missionaries before 1840, through the organised settlements of 1840-1852, the settlement at Otago, a surge of Scots 1853-1870, the ebbs and flows of 1900-1945 and immigration after 1945. There are sections on the influence of Scottish culture, education and Scots in public life and the New Zealand economy, plus lots of facts and figures. The site has lots of images, audio and viseo, a biographies gallery and sources of further information.

Cutty Sark

The story of the famous ship launched at Dumbarton on November 22 1869 to be the fastest ship in the race to bring home the first of the new season's tea from China. She later brought back wool from Australia.

Maid of the Loch

The Paddle Steamer "Maid of the Loch" is currently being restored, ultimately to sail again on the waters of Loch Lomond. This site is dedicated to her and all who are giving their time, commitment and cash to bringing back to life this most beautiful of ships. There is a history of the ship, up to date news and a gallery of photographs.

The Madeleine Smith Story

One of the most famous murder trials ever to take place in Scotland was that of Madeleine Smith, 140 years ago. The jury found the case "not proven" ( a result which is unique to Scots law). And debate still rages as to whether or not she was guilty. This extensive web site sets out the historical and social background as well as the facts and the testimonies of the witnesses.

The site also has sections on the Massacre of Glencoe. There is also a copy of Bell Geordie (a reminiscence of George Gibson, an old City of Glasgow Bellman which gives an interesting insight into Glasgow at the end of the 19th century), History of the City of Glasgow (an excerpt from the 1847 Gazetteer of Scotland, giving a lengthy account from earliest times through to the 19th century).

Scottish Golf History

Based on thorough research of early records, this website seeks to relate golf history to present day courses, locations, websites and maps. There are details of the early Scottish golfing sites and (that thorny and much disputed subject) the oldest Golf Clubs and Societies.

Finlaggan Trust

In Loch Finlaggan on the island of Islay, lie two islands which contain the remains of buildings, many of which date from Medieval times, when this place was the centre of the realm of the Lords of the Isles. These MacDonald lords were descended from Somerled, a 12th century prince, and took their name from his grandson Donald. They ruled the islands and parts of the west coast of Scotland from Kintyre to Lewis, virtually independent of the control of the Scottish Crown. The illustrated site provides a historical backround and details of Finlaggan and aslo the new visitor centre there.

Scottish Economic History Database, 1550 - 1780

Crop yields, demographic data, prices/wages and a wealth of statistics about the period 1550-1780.

Statistical Accounts Web Service

The two Statistical Accounts of Scotland, covering the 1790s and the 1830s, are among the best contemporary reports of life during the agricultural and industrial revolutions in Europe. Based largely on information supplied by each parish church minister, the old (first) Statistical Account and the New (second) Statistical Account provide a rich record of a wide variety of topics: wealth, class and poverty; climate, agriculture, fishing and wildlife; population, schools, and the moral health of the people. In most cases, services require both institutional subscription and end-user registration.

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Where else would you like to go in Scotland?

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