Live /

Over 28 of our staffed sites have now reopened and we are delighted to welcome you back. Booking in advance is recommended to guarantee entry. Find out more and book now


Archives and Research

Victorian Scotland

Victorian Scotland

The Victorians were the harbingers of the modern age, their society driven by curiosity, a zeal for invention, and an enormous appetite for economic and imperial consumption. The boiler room of the era was stoked furiously, and its frequent combustions produced advances in everything from science and philosophy to industry and architecture. 

By the end of the nineteenth century, Scotland was a nation transformed. Glasgow had exploded into the second city of the Empire, the majestic Forth Bridge was celebrated as a wonder of the modern world, and railways had opened the remote Highlands to new industries of leisure and tourism. 

But for every grand museum or gothic-revival country house, tenements and slums rose in their thousands – overcrowded living for the vast army of workers that sustained the great Victorian machine. Ambition and wealth saw social divisions become ever more acute, producing a society obsessed with class hierarchy. 

Now, for the first time, we are showcasing images from the National Collection in a remarkable illustration of this landmark era. From the pioneering work of photographers like John Forbes White and Henry Bedford Lemerre, to never before seen excerpts from private family albums, Victorian Scotland is a window on the lives of the generation who changed the world.

  • Audiences:

    Members, Researchers, Visitors, Conservation and Heritage Enthusiasts
  • Contact:

    For more information please call 0845 370 0067 or email
  • Date Published:

    01 October 2010
  • Publisher:

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

    Book (General)
  • Author(s):

    James Crawford

    James Crawford is the Publishing and Research Grants Operational Manager at Historic Environment Scotland, and has previously worked as a literary agent, journalist and editor.

    Lesley Ferguson

    Lesley is Head of Collections at Historic Environment Scotland.

    Kristina Watson

    Kristina is an Historic Environment Scotland archivist and archaeologist with over 10 years of experience working with historical photography.
  • Format(s):

    ISBN: 9781902419640
    224pp, portrait, 300mm x 245mm
    220 (full colour)
  • Language:

  • Subjects:

    Scotland, Photographs: collections , British and Irish History