Issue: A social history of 19th-century farm workers and their families, at Jack's Houses, Kirkliston, Midlothian

Publication Type
Abstract The remains of two 19th-century row cottages and associated structures and deposits were discovered at Jack's Houses, near Kirkliston. Nearby agricultural remains included a field system with boundary walls, drains and a draw well. A large rubbish dump containing pottery and ceramics has been interpreted as urban waste imported to the site to be added to the land in order to break up the clay soil for cultivation. A historical study undertaken in combination with the archaeological work afforded a view into the lives of the transient agricultural labourers and their families who occupied the houses over a century. The combined disciplines have provided us with a rare insight into a part of rural social history from the early-mid 19th to the early 20th centuries.
Downloads
sair33.pdf (1 MB): Download
Author Stuart Mitchell
Fay Oliver
Tim Neighbour
Issue Editor Helen Bleck
Publisher Society of Antiquaries of Scotland
Year of Publication 2009
Volume 33
ISBN 0 903903 64 6
Source DigitalBorn
Relations
Monograph Chapter Title Sort Order Both Arrows Access Type Author / Editor Page
Start/End Sort Order Up Arrow
Abstract
1
The remains of two 19th-century row cottages and associated structures and deposits were discovered at Jack's Houses, near Kirkliston. Nearby agricultural remains included a field system with boundary walls, drains and a draw well. A large rubbish dump containing pottery and ceramics has been interpreted as urban waste imported to the site to be added to the land in order to break up the clay soil for cultivation. A historical study undertaken in combination with the archaeological work afforded a view into the lives of the transient agricultural labourers and their families who occupied the houses over a century. The combined disciplines have provided us with a rare insight into a part of rural social history from the early-mid 19th to the early 20th centuries.
2 - 3
This chapter presents the background to the project.
4 - 5
Information on site location, geology and historical background is presented.
6
The project aims are presented and the structure of the report is explained.
7 - 10
An outline of the excavation methodology is followed by an archaeological description of the excavated features.
George R Haggarty
R Murdoch
7 - 10
Summaries of the specialist reports on pottery and glass from the midden and organic finds from the well are presented here.
George R Haggarty
11
K R Murdoch
11 - 12
Michael Cressey
12 - 13
14 - 22
Documentary evidence has provided some insight into the way that many families inhabited these two small houses and used and developed their facilities over the space of a century. Study of the Valuation Rolls has provided the names and occupations of the householders. The Rolls reveal that, until the cottages were condemned in 1934, their occupiers were agricultural workers, their occupations being more or less the same as those earlier in the 19th century. The inhabitants of Jack's Cottages were representative of the rural lowland labour force. Most came from the immediate vicinity or nearby, though there were migrants from further afield. People did move out of the area, though most seemed to have remained in or near to Kirkliston.
Sue Anderson
22
Stuart Mitchell
Sue Anderson
23 - 24
The evidence suggests houses which were cheaply built, poorly maintained and overcrowded throughout much of their existence, occupied by transient families working as agricultural labourers and living in conditions which may not have been significantly better than those of their urban peers.
25
26 - 27
28 - 29
30 - 34
30 - 34
Stuart Mitchell
Fay Oliver
Tim Neighbour
The remains of two 19th-century row cottages and associated structures and deposits were discovered at Jack's Houses, near Kirkliston. Nearby agricultural remains included a field system with boundary walls, drains and a draw well. A large rubbish dump containing pottery and ceramics has been interpreted as urban waste imported to the site to be added to the land in order to break up the clay soil for cultivation. A historical study undertaken in combination with the archaeological work afforded a view into the lives of the transient agricultural labourers and their families who occupied the houses over a century. The combined disciplines have provided us with a rare insight into a part of rural social history from the early-mid 19th to the early 20th centuries.