Scotland in the Early Middle Ages
Scotland was divided into a series of kingdoms in the early Middle Ages, i.e. between the end of Roman authority in southern and central Britain from around 400 CE and the rise of the kingdom of Alba in 900 CE. Of these, the four most important to emerge were the Picts, the Scots of Dál Riata, the Britons of Alt Clut, the Anglian kingdom of Bernicia. After the arrival of the Vikings in the late 8th century, Scandinavian rulers and colonies were established on the islands and along parts of the coasts. In the 9th century, the House of Alpin combined the lands of the Scots and Picts to form a single kingdom which constituted the basis of the kingdom of Scotland. Scotland has vast areas of difficult terrain and poor agricultural land. In this period, more land became marginal due to climate change, resulting in light human settlement in the interior and Highlands. Northern Britain lacked urban centres and settlements were based on farmsteads and around fortified positions such as brochs, with mixed-farming based on self-sufficiency.
In this period, changes in settlement and colonisation meant that the Pictish and Brythonic languages began to be subsumed by Gaelic, and, at the end of the period, by Old Norse. Life expectancy was low, leading to a young population, with a ruling aristocracy and large numbers of slaves. Kingship was multi-layered, with different kings surrounded by their war bands that made up the most important elements of armed forces, who engaged in both low-level raiding and occasional longer-range, major campaigns; the expansion of Christianity from the margins of Scotland was key to the development of this period, as it became the religion of many inhabitants. Influenced by the Celtic tradition originating from what is now Ireland, by the end of the era it had become integrated into the organisational structures of the Catholic Church; this period produced some distinctive monumental and ornamental art, culminating in the development of the Insular art style, common across Britain and Ireland. The most impressive structures included nucleated hill forts and, after the introduction of Christianity and monasteries.
The period saw the beginnings of Scottish literature in British, Old English and Latin languages. As the first half of the period is prehistoric, archaeology plays an important part in studies of early Medieval Scotland. There are no significant contemporary internal sources for the Picts, although evidence has been gleaned from lists of kings, annals preserved in Wales and Ireland and from sources written down much which may draw on oral traditions or earlier sources. From the 7th century there is documentary evidence from Latin sources including the lives of saints, such as Adomnán's Life of St. Columba, Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People. Archaeological sources include settlements and surviving everyday objects. Other aids to understanding in this period include onomastics – divided into toponymy, showing the movement of languages, the sequence in which different languages were spoken in an area, anthroponymy, which can offer clues to relationships and origins. By the time of Bede and Adomnán, in the late seventh century and early eighth century, four major circles of influence had emerged in northern Britain.
In the east were the Picts, whose kingdoms stretched from the river Forth to Shetland. In the west were the Gaelic -speaking people of Dál Riata with their royal fortress at Dunadd in Argyll, with close links with the island of Ireland, from which they brought with them the name Scots a term used to describe the inhabitants of Ireland. In the south was the British Kingdom of Alt Clut, descendants of the peoples of the Roman-influenced kingdoms of "The Old North". There were the English or "Angles", Germanic invaders who had overrun much of southern Britain and held the Kingdom of Bernicia, in the south-east, who brought with them Old English; the confederation of Pictish tribes that developed north of the Firth of Forth may have stretched up as far as Orkney. It developed out of the tribes of the Caledonii as a response to the pressure exerted by the presence of the Romans to the south, they first appear in Roman records at the end of the 3rd century as the picti when Roman forces campaigned against them.
The first identifiable king of the Picts, who seems to have exerted a superior and wide-ranging authority, was Bridei mac Maelchon. His power was based in the kingdom of Fidach, his base was at the fort of Craig Phadrig, near modern Inverness. After his death, leadership seems to have shifted to the Fortriu, whose lands were centred on Strathearn and Menteith and who raided along the eastern coast into modern England. Christian missionaries from Iona appear to have begun the conversion of the Picts to Christianity from 563. In the 7th century, the Picts acquired Bridei map Beli as a king imposed by the kingdom of Alt Clut, where his father Beli I and his brother Eugein I ruled. At this point the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Bernicia was expanding northwards, the Picts were tributary to them until, in 685, Bridei defeated them at the Battle of Dunnichen in Angus, killing their king, Ecgfrith. In the reign of Óengus mac Fergusa, the Picts appear to have reached the height of their influence, defeating the forces of Dál Riata, invading Alt C
"Alba" is the Scottish Gaelic name for Scotland. It is cognate with the Irish term Alba and the Manx term Nalbin, the two other Goidelic Insular Celtic languages, as well as contemporary words used in Cornish and Welsh, both of which are Brythonic Insular Celtic languages. In the past these terms were names for Great Britain as a whole, related to the Brythonic name Albion; the term first appears in classical texts as Ἀλβίων Albíon or Ἀλουΐων Alouíon, as Albion in Latin documents. The term refers to Britain as a whole and is based on the Indo-European root for "white", it came to be used by Gaelic speakers in the form of Alba as the name given to the former kingdom of the Picts which when first used in this sense had expanded. The region Breadalbane takes its name from it as well; the Pictish, Scottish, Kings were crowned at the seat on Moot Hill Scone. It was this stone, taken to Westminster Abbey and used in Coronations for the monarchs of the United Kingdom; as time passed that kingdom incorporated others to the southern territories.
It became re-Latinized in the High Medieval period as "Albania". This latter word was employed by Celto-Latin writers, most famously by Geoffrey of Monmouth, it was this word which passed into Middle English as Albany, although rarely was this used for the Kingdom of Scotland, but rather for the notional Duchy of Albany. It is from the latter that Albany, the capital of the US state of New York, Albany, Western Australia take their names, it appears in the anglicised literary form of Albyn, as in Byron's Childe Harold: And wild and high the'Cameron's gathering' rose, The war-note of Lochiel, which Albyn's hills Have heard, heard, have her Saxon foes Belgian Michel Roger Lafosse, who claims the Scottish throne, has styled himself as "HRH Prince Michael James Alexander Stewart, 7th Count of Albany" since 1978. BBC Alba, a television channel broadcasting in Scottish Gaelic, was launched in September 2008 as a joint venture between MG Alba and the BBC. A new version of Runrig's song Alba was featured on the channel's launch.
In the mid-1990s, the Celtic League started a campaign to have the word "Alba" on the Scottish football and rugby tops. Since 2005, the SFA have supported the use of Scottish Gaelic by adding Alba on the back of the official team strip. However, the SRU is still being lobbied to have Alba added to the national rugby union strip. In 2007, the Scottish Executive re-branded itself as "The Scottish Government" and started to use a bilingual logo with the Gaelic name Riaghaltas na h-Alba. However, the Gaelic version from the outset had always been Riaghaltas na h-Alba; the Scottish Parliament uses the Gaelic name Pàrlamaid na h-Alba. A new welcome sign on the historic A7 route into Scotland was erected in 2009, with the text Fàilte gu Alba. Phrases such as Alba gu bràth may be used as a rallying cry, it was used in the movie Braveheart as William Wallace encouraged the troops at the Battle of Stirling Bridge. Albanactus Caledonia Kingdom of Alba Scotia
The River Ury is a small river in northeastern Scotland situated in the Garioch area of Aberdeenshire. Its origins are close to Bennachie 25 miles to the northwest of Aberdeen; the river runs for 15 miles before meeting the River Don at the south edge of Inverurie. Its main tributary is the Gadie Burn. Fishing permits are available for salmon and trout; the Ordnance Survey use the name "River Urie" and this spelling is used because of the association with Inverurie. Local people prefer the spelling "Ury", used by Aberdeenshire Council
Scotland in the High Middle Ages
The High Middle Ages of Scotland encompass Scotland in the era between the death of Domnall II in 900 AD and the death of King Alexander III in 1286, an indirect cause of the Scottish Wars of Independence. At the close of the ninth century, various competing kingdoms occupied the territory of modern Scotland. Scandinavian influence was dominant in the northern and western islands, Brythonic culture in the southwest, the Anglo-Saxon or English Kingdom of Northumbria in the southeast and the Pictish and Gaelic Kingdom of Alba in the east, north of the River Forth. By the tenth and eleventh centuries, northern Great Britain was dominated by Gaelic culture, by the Gaelic regal lordship of Alba, known in Latin as either Albania or Scotia, in English as "Scotland". From its base in the east, this kingdom acquired control of the lands lying to the south and the west and much of the north, it had a flourishing culture, comprising part of the larger Gaelic-speaking world and an economy dominated by agriculture and trade.
After the twelfth-century reign of King David I, the Scottish monarchs are better described as Scoto-Norman than Gaelic, preferring French culture to native Scottish culture. A consequence was social values including Canon law; the first towns, called burghs, appeared in the same era, as they spread, so did the Middle English language. These developments were offset by the acquisition of the Norse-Gaelic west and the Gaelicisation of many of the noble families of French and Anglo-French origin. National cohesion was fostered with the creation of various unique cultural practices. By the end of the period, Scotland experienced a "Gaelic revival", which created an integrated Scottish national identity. By 1286, these economic, cultural and legal developments had brought Scotland closer to its neighbours in England and the Continent, although outsiders continued to view Scotland as a provincial savage place. By this date, the Kingdom of Scotland had political boundaries that resembled those of the modern nation.
Scotland in the High Middle Ages is a well-studied topic and Scottish medievalists have produced a wide variety of publications. Some, such as David Dumville, Thomas Owen Clancy and Dauvit Broun, are interested in the native cultures of the country, have linguistic training in the Celtic languages. Normanists, such as G. W. S. Barrow, are concerned with the Norman and Scoto-Norman cultures introduced to Scotland after the eleventh century. For much of the twentieth century, historians tended to stress the cultural change that took place in Scotland during this time. However, scholars such as Cynthia Neville and Richard Oram, while not ignoring cultural changes, argue that continuity with the Gaelic past was just as, if not more, important. Since the publication of Scandinavian Scotland by Barbara E. Crawford in 1987, there has been a growing volume of work dedicated to the understanding of Norse influence in this period. However, from 849 on, when Columba's relics were removed from Iona in the face of Viking incursions, written evidence from local sources in the areas under Scandinavian influence all but vanishes for three hundred years.
The sources for information about the Hebrides and indeed much of northern Scotland from the eighth to the eleventh century, are thus exclusively Irish, English or Norse. The main Norse texts should be treated with care; the English and Irish sources are more contemporary, but according to historian Alex Woolf, may have "led to a southern bias in the story" as much of the Hebridean archipelago became Norse-speaking during this period. There are various traditional clan histories dating from the nineteenth century such as the "monumental" The Clan Donald and a significant corpus of material from the Gaelic oral tradition that relates to this period, although their value is questionable. At the close of the ninth century various polities occupied Scotland; the Pictish and Gaelic Kingdom of Alba had just been united in the east. Ragnall ua Ímair was a key figure at this time although the extent to which he ruled territory in western and northern Scotland including the Hebrides and Northern Isles is unknown as contemporary sources are silent on this matter.
Dumbarton, the capital of the Kingdom of Strathclyde had been sacked by the Uí Ímair in 870. This was a major assault, which may have brought the whole of mainland Scotland under temporary Uí Imair control; the south-east had been absorbed by the English Kingdom of Bernicia/Northumbria in the seventh century. Galloway in the south west was a Lordship with some regality. In a Galwegian charter dated to the reign of Fergus, the Galwegian ruler styled himself rex Galwitensium, King of Galloway. In the north east the ruler of Moray was called not only "king" in both Scandinavian and Irish sources, but before Máel Snechtai, "King of Alba". However, when Domnall mac Causantín died at Dunnottar in 900, he was the first man to be recorded as rí Alban and his kingdom was the nucleus that would expand as Viking and other influences waned. In the tenth century the Alban elite had begun to develop a conquest myth to explain their increasing Gaelicisation at the expense of Pictish culture. Known as MacAlpin's Treason, it describes how Cináed mac Ailpín is supposed to have annihilated the Picts in one fell takeover.
However, modern historians are now beginning to reject this conceptualization of Scottish origins. No contemporary sources mention this conquest. Moreover, the Gaelicisation of Pictland was a long process predating Cináed, is evidenced by Gaelic-speaking Pictish rulers, Pictish royal pa
Banff is a town in the Banff and Buchan area of Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Banff is situated on Banff Bay and faces the town of Macduff across the estuary of the River Deveron. Banff is a former royal burgh, is the county town of the historic county of Banffshire; the origin of the name is uncertain. It may be derived from the Scottish Gaelic banbh meaning "piglet". William J. Watson writes: "It is true that Banff is Banb in the Book of Deer and Banbh in modern Gaelic — one syllable. On the other hand, banbh, a suckling pig, is not appropriate — one might say it is impossible — as the name of a place or district." Banff's first castle was built to repel Viking invaders and a charter of 1163 AD shows that Malcolm IV was living there at that time. During this period the town was a busy trading centre in the "free hanse" of Northern Scottish burghs, despite not having its own harbour until 1775; the first recorded Sheriff of Banff was Richard de Strathewan in 1264, in 1372 Royal Burgh status was conferred by King Robert II.
By the 15th century Banff was one of three principal towns exporting salmon to the continent of Europe, along with Aberdeen and Montrose. There was a great deal of lawlessness in seventeenth-century Scotland, some of the worst offenders were members of the nobility. According to records kept by historian William Cramond, the tolbooth of Banff was, in 1628, the site of an altercation between Lord Banff and James Ogilvie, his relative, he struck James Ogilvie upon the head with a baton during a court hearing. Twenty of his friends and followers attacked Ogilvie with swords before chasing him into the street and finishing him off with a pistol shot. Banff and Macduff are separated by the valley of the River Deveron; this unpredictable river was tamed by the seven arched bridge completed in 1779 by John Smeaton. An earlier bridge had been built in 1765, but was swept away in 1768; the old ferry was brought back into use, until it was lost in a flood in 1773. A public meeting was held in 1800 and passed a resolution for the building of a turnpike road between Turiff and Banff as the existing road was in a sad state of repair.
19th century transport improvements included the building of two railway lines, from Macduff to Turiff in 1860 and the Banff and Strathisla Railway in 1859 which connected to the main Aberdeen to Inverness line. During the 19th Century the Banff Fishery District was important to the herring trade, with production peaking in 1853 at more than sixty-thousand barrels, of which nearly thirty-four thousand were exported, however by 1912 production had declined to just over eight thousand barrels; the languages spoken in the town and in its vicinity tend to be the Doric dialect of Scots, English. Banff has an oceanic climate, with mild temperatures year round; the modern-day town has a golf course and was home to the Colleonard Sculpture Park, now relocated in Aviemore. COAST Festival of the Visual Arts is an annual festival of weekend-long events and attractions in both Banff and Macduff, it runs over the bank holiday weekend at the end of May each year. The townscape, one of the best-preserved in Scotland, has many historic buildings including fragments of the former royal Banff Castle, a pre-Reformation market cross, a fine tolbooth, many vernacular townhouses, a museum donated by Andrew Carnegie.
Close by is Duff House, designed by William Adam in 1730, one of Scotland's finest classical houses. It is open to the public as an out-station of the National Gallery of Scotland. Open to the public are the Wrack Woods, due south of Duff House; the woods contain an old ice house, a mausoleum, a walk to the secluded Bridge of Alvah, a single-arch bridge spanning the river Deveron. The Deveron is known for its salmon and trout fishing. Many of the nearby villages contribute to tourism in the area. Banff's Tourist Information Centre opens during the summer and can be found by St Mary's car park adjacent to St Mary's Parish Church on Banff's High Street, their audio tours provide an insight into its history and architecture. Though no longer a commercial port, the harbour has been subject to redevelopment during the latter half of 2006 and now has a marina which serves leisure traffic and small fishing boats; the newly constructed marina was only accessible +3 hrs mlw due to rapid siltation. By 2012 the silting problem had been resolved and the entrance is kept dredged to Chart Datum which makes it accessible over longer periods of the tide to boats of a metre or less draft.
The Canadian town of Banff, Alberta with its National Park are named after Banff. Banff was served by the Banff and Strathisla Railway from 1857, the Banff and Turriff Junction Railway belonging to the Great North of Scotland Railway from 1860; the latter went to Banff & Macduff station a mile from Banff. The GNSR took over operation and ownership of the older BPSR line. In 1872 the line to Banff & Macduff station benefited from replacement stations closer to the town centre of Macduff; the original Banff & Macduff station closed on 1 July 1872. All the lines suffered from mid-20th century railway cuts, with Banff Bridge station closing by the end of 1951, Banff Harbour closing on 6 July 1964; the nearest open stati
Fortriu or the Kingdom of Fortriu is the name given by historians for a Pictish kingdom recorded between the 4th and 10th centuries, used synonymously with Pictland in general. While traditionally located in and around Strathearn in central Scotland, it is more to have been located in and around Moray and Easter Ross in the north; the people of Fortriu left no surviving indigenous writings and the name they used to describe themselves is unrecorded. The population group was first documented in the late 4th century by the Roman historian Ammianus Marcellinus, who referred to them in Latin as the Verturiones; the Latin root verturio has been connected etymologically by John Rhys with the Welsh word gwerthyr, meaning "fortress", suggesting that both came from a Common Brittonic root vertera, implying that the group's name meant "Fortress People". A reconstructed form in the Pictish language would be something like *Uerteru. A connected Old Irish form of the name appears from the 6th to the 10th centuries in the Annals of Ulster and sources, which contain repeated references to rex Fortrenn, la firu Fortrenn and Maigh Fortrenn, alongside references to battles occurring i Fortrinn.
These are examples of a common pattern of Goidelic languages rendering with an f what in Brittonic languages is U/V, W or Gw. The word Fortriu is a modern reconstruction of a hypothetical nominative form for this word that has survived only in these genitive and dative cases. Anglo-Saxon sources, from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle in the 6th century to Bede in the 8th century, refer to the group using the Old English form of the name Waerteras. Modern scholars writing in English refer to the Kingdom using the name Fortriu and the adjective Verturian, use the name the Waerteras to refer to the people as an ethnic group. Traditionally the kingdom has been seen as centred on central Scotland, equivalent to the Kingdom of the Southern Picts, with a heartland in Strathearn. Over the last century or so this has become a scholarly consensus. However, new research by Alex Woolf seems to have destroyed this consensus, if not the idea itself; as Woolf has pointed out, the only basis for it had been that a battle had taken place in Strathearn in which the Men of Fortriu had taken part.
This is an unconvincing reason on its own, because there are two Strathearns — one in the south, one in the north — and, every battle has to be fought outside the territory of one of the combatants. By contrast, a northern recension of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle makes it clear that Fortriu was north of the Mounth, in the area visited by Columba; the long poem known as The Prophecy of Berchán, written in the 12th century, but purporting to be a prophecy made in the Early Middle Ages, says that Dub, King of Scotland was killed in the Plain of Fortriu. Another source, the Chronicle of the Kings of Alba, indicates that King Dub was killed at Forres, a location in Moray. Moreover, additions to the Chronicle of Melrose confirm that Dub was killed by the men of Moray at Forres; the Prophecy of Berchán states that "Mac Bethad, the glorious king of Fortriu, will take." As Macbeth, King of Scotland may have been Mormaer of Moray before he became King of Scots, it is possible that Fortriu was understood to be interchangeable with Moray in the High Middle Ages.
Fortriu is mentioned as one of the seven ancient Pictish kingdoms in the 13th-century source known as De Situ Albanie. There can be little or no doubt that Fortriu centred on northern Scotland. Other Pictish scholars, such as James E. Fraser are now taking it for granted that Fortriu was in the north of Scotland, centred on Moray and Easter Ross, where most early Pictish monuments are located. Hence, it is in these areas that the united kingdom of the Picts originated acquiring southern Pictland after the expulsion of the Northumbrians by King Bridei III of the Picts at the Battle of Dun Nechtain in 685 CE. Relocating Fortriu north of the Mounth increases the importance of the Vikings; the Viking impact on the north was greater than in the south, in the north, the Vikings conquered and made permanent territorial gains. The creation of Alba or the Kingdom of Scotland from Pictland, traditionally associated with a conquest by Kenneth MacAlpin in 843, can be better understood in this context, it appears from a discovery made by Oliver Curran, a Northern Irish historian, that a tribe of the Fortriu were located at Newry, County Down: according to an 18th-century translation of Ptolemy's map of Ireland they are seen in the wider area marked Voluntii which he says corresponds with the Cruithne.
It is not yet known. There have been Pictish'Z' rod carvings and a settlement found on Trusty's hill at Gatehouse of Fleet and Galloway. There are numerous cup and ring carvings and megaliths in the Machars and the Rhins of Galloway hinting at a migration route to Ireland. Mormaer of Moray Anderson, Alan Orr, Early Sources of Scottish History: AD 500-1286, 2 Vols, Sally M.. Picts and Gaels — Early Historic Scotland. Edinburgh: Birlinn. ISBN 9781780271910. Fraser, James. From Caledonia to Pictland: Scotland to 795. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. ISBN 9780748612321. Hudson, Benjamin T. Kings of Celtic Scotland, William J.. Taylor, Simon, ed; the Celtic Placenames of Scotland. Edinburgh: Birlinn. ISBN 9781841583235. Woolf, Alex. "The Verturian Hegemony: A Mirror in the North". In Brown, Michelle P.. Mercia: an Anglo-Saxon Kingdom in Europe. Leicester: Leicester Un
Agriculture in Scotland in the Middle Ages
Agriculture in Scotland in the Middle Ages includes all forms of farm production in the modern boundaries of Scotland, between the departure of the Romans from Britain in the fifth century and the establishment of the Renaissance in the early sixteenth century. Scotland has between a fifth and a sixth of the amount of the arable or good pastoral land of England and Wales located in the south and east. Heavy rainfall encouraged the spread of acidic blanket peat bog, which with wind and salt spray, made most of the western islands treeless; the existence of hills, mountains and marshes made internal communication and agriculture difficult. Most farms had to produce a self-sufficient diet of meat, dairy products and cereals, supplemented by hunter-gathering; the early Middle Ages were a period of climate deterioration resulting in more land becoming unproductive. Farming was based around a single homestead or a small cluster of three or four homes, each containing a nuclear family and cattle were the most important domesticated animal.
In the period 1150 to 1300, warm dry summers and less severe winters allowed cultivation at much greater heights and made land more productive. Arable farming grew but was still more common in low-lying areas than in high-lying areas such as the Highlands and the Southern Uplands; the system of infield and outfield agriculture, a variation of open field farming used across Europe, may have been introduced with feudalism from the twelfth century. Crops were bere and sometimes wheat and legumes. Hunting reserves were adopted by Anglo-Norman lords and by Gaelic ones; the more extensive outfield was used for oats. New monastic orders such as the Cistercians became major landholders and sheep farmers in the Borders where they were organised in granges. By the late Medieval period, most farming was based on the Lowland fermtoun or Highland baile, settlements of a handful of families that jointly farmed an area notionally suitable for two or three plough teams, allocated in run rigs to tenant farmers, known as husbandmen.
Runrigs ran downhill so that they included both wet and dry land. Most ploughing was done with a heavy wooden plough with an iron coulter, pulled by oxen, which were more effective and cheaper to feed than horses. Key crops included kale and flax. Sheep and goats were the main sources of milk, while cattle were raised for meat; the rural economy appears to have boomed in the thirteenth century and in the immediate aftermath of the Black Death was still buoyant, but by the 1360s there was a severe falling off in incomes to be followed by a slow recovery in the fifteenth century. Scotland is half the size of England and Wales and has the same amount of coastline, but only between a fifth and a sixth of the amount of the arable or good pastoral land, under 60 metres above sea level, most of this is located in the south and east; this made fishing, the key factors in the pre-modern economy. Its east Atlantic position means that it has heavy rainfall: today about 700 cm per year in the east and over 1,000 cm in the west.
This encouraged the spread of blanket peat bog, the acidity of which, combined with high level of wind and salt spray, made most of the western islands treeless. The existence of hills, mountains and marshes made agriculture and internal communication difficult; the relative importance of climate and human interference has been debated, but Scotland was much more forested before humans arrived, around 5000 BP. The early Middle Ages, from the fifth century to the tenth century, were a period of climate deterioration, with a drop in temperature and an increase in rainfall, resulting in more land becoming unproductive. With a lack of significant transport links and wider markets, most farms had to produce a self-sufficient diet of meat, dairy products and cereals, supplemented by hunter-gathering. Limited archaeological evidence indicates that farming was based around a single homestead or a small cluster of three or four homes, each containing a nuclear family, with kinship relationships to be common among neighbouring houses and settlements, reflecting the partition of land through inheritance.
The climate meant that barley were grown than wheat. The evidence of bones indicates that cattle were by far the most important domesticated animal, followed by pigs and goats, while domesticated fowl were rare. Christian missionaries from Ireland may have changed agricultural practice, bringing innovations such as the horizontal water mill and mould board ploughs, which were more effective in turning the soil. In the period 1150 to 1300, warm dry summers and less severe winters of the Medieval Warm Period allowed cultivation at much greater heights above sea level and made land more productive. Arable farming grew but was still more common in low-lying areas in the south and east than in high-lying areas such as the Highlands and the Southern Uplands; the feudalism introduced under David I in the east and south where the crown's authority was greatest, saw the placement of baronial lordships. Land was now held from the king, or a superior lord, in exchange for loyalty and forms of service that were military.
Barons, who held feudal tenures, had the right to hold baronial courts, which could deal with matters of land ownership. However, the imposition of feudalism continued to sit beside the existing systems of landholding and tenure and it is not clear how this change impacted on the lives of t