Archives and Research

Above Scotland

The National Collection of Aerial Photography

Above Scotland

The landscape of Scotland is full of dramatic contrasts. The high, rugged peaks of the Cairngorms look down on the rounded hills of the southern uplands. Wild moorlands run into fertile flood-plains. The coastline ranges from soft sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters to jagged cliffs battered by the fierce waves of the Atlantic. 

Aerial photography provides unique and striking perspectives on how the people of Scotland have lived on, worked, fought over, worshipped, developed and changed this land, leaving no part untouched or unaltered by human activity. 

Historic Environment Scotland holds the National Collection of aerial photography for Scotland with millions of images dating from the 1920s to the present day. These photographs – many of which have never been seen before by the public – tell the remarkable story of a changing nation, from stone circles, Roman remains and ruined castles, to the growth of villages, towns and cities, the rise and fall of heavy industry, the country at war and the proud engineering and architecture of the modern landscape. 

For the first time in one volume, we have brought together the finest images from its collection in a stunning illustration of Scotland’s past, present and future.

  • Audiences:

    Members, Researchers, Visitors, Conservation and Heritage Enthusiasts
  • Date Published:

    15 March 2014
  • Publisher:

    The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland
  • Publication Types:

    Book (General)
  • Author(s):

    James Crawford

    A writer and broadcaster, and for over ten years was Publisher at Historic Environment Scotland. He is the author of the Saltire-nominated Fallen Glory: The Lives and Deaths of the World’s Greatest Lost Buildings, and has written a number of books on aerial photography, including Above Scotland, Scotland’s Landscapes and Aerofilms: A History of Britain From Above. He is the writer and presenter of the landmark BBC documentary series Scotland from the Sky

    David Cowley

    David is an archaeologist with 20 years of experience recording the Scottish Landscape, and runs the Historic Environment Scotland aerial survey programme.
  • Format(s):

    ISBN: 9781902419879
    224pp, portrait, 257mm x 210mm
    200 illustrations (full colour)
  • Language:

  • Subjects:

    History, Aerial Photography, Scotland