Loch Leven (Kinross)
Loch Leven is a fresh water loch located to the east of the burgh of Kinross in Perth and Kinross council area, central Scotland. Triangular, the loch is about 6 km at its longest. Prior to the canalisation of the River Leven, the partial draining of the loch in 1826-36, Loch Leven was larger; the drop in water level by 1.4 m reduced to the loch to 75% of its former size, exposed several small islands, as well as increasing the size of the existing ones. There are seven islands on the largest being St Serf's Inch. Loch Leven Castle, where Mary, Queen of Scots was imprisoned in 1567, lies on one of these islands, it can be reached by a ferry operated from Kinross by Historic Environment Scotland during the summer months, it is thought. Scottish Natural Heritage have described Loch Leven as "one of Scotland’s top natural assets", due to its rich ecosystem that supports many different species of plants, insects and birds, it is of particular significance to migrating birds, who use it as a stopover when flying between their breeding and wintering grounds, due its lowland location, shallow nutrient rich waters, large water surface, islands.
Loch Leven holds numerous national and international conservation designations, including being a national nature reserve. As the largest lowland loch in Scotland, Loch Leven is an important site for waterfowl, with up to 35,000 birds present in the winter months; these birds migrate from a variety of places, such as Greenland, Ireland and northern and central Europe. The loch Leven is important for pink-footed geese, up to 20,000 such geese may be present at times, although many geese move south from the loch as winter progresses. Other bird wintering at Loch Leven include greylag geese, whooper swans, tufted ducks, teals, gadwalls and shovelers. Loch Leven is important for breeding birds, hosts one of the largest concentrations of breeding ducks of any non-coastal site in Europe; the most numerous species are mallard. The loch is used by birds such as mute swans at the end of the summer for moulting, as the loch is large enough to allow them to avoid predators during a period when they are flightless as the shed their summer feathers and grow new winter plumage.
The two main fish species present in Loch Leven are brown trout and perch: the loch's trout have long been noted for their unusual colour and high quality. Other fish living in the loch include sticklebacks, pike and minnows; some species of fish noted in historical records are no longer present: it is thought that Arctic char were impacted by the lowering of the loch's water level, whilst the damming of the River Leven and rise in pollution due to the increase in industry are the reasons for the demise of the population of Atlantic salmon. The loch supports many species of invertebrates, which provide a food source for many of the species of birds and mammals. During the summer months large clouds of small flies form a vital part of the food for ducklings; some rare species of beetle are present, including the carrion beetle Thanatophilus dispar, the reed beetle Macroplea appendiculata and the ant beetle Anthicus scoticus. Other invertebrates found at the loch include aquatic snails and several species of dragonflies and damselflies.
Otters are found around the loch and the burns that feed into it, water shrews and water voles live along the banks of ditches and burns. A total of six species of bat have been recorded at the NNR: Daubenton, brown long-eared, Nathusius and common pipistrelle bat. Grey squirrel numbers are controlled and this has allowed red squirrels to re-establish themselves in woodlands around the loch. Fox and brown rat are present on the reserve; as with the grey squirrels numbers are controlled, for these pest species this is to protect nesting birds. The Loch Leven NNR hosts a wide assemblage of vascular plant species that grow around the loch shore, including 3 species listed on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature Red list and other species rated as “nationally rare” or “nationally scarce” such as holy grass and mudwort. Lesser water plantain, Loch Leven spearwort and threadrush live on areas of mud, sand or gravel around the lochside, they require sites that are intermittently exposed, either natural erosion or active management is needed to prevent reeds or other aquatic plants from out-competing them.
Coral-root orchid is found at only one location on the reserve. The area around Loch Leven has been inhabitated for millennia, the remains of a crannog have been found off Kirkgate Park. St Serf's Inch was the home of a Culdee and an Augustinian monastic community, St Serf's Inch Priory. There was a monastic community on the island, old in the 12th century; the monastery produced a series of Gaelic language charters from the 11th and 12th centuries which were translated into Latin in the late 12th century. It was here. Loch Leven Castle is associated with Mary, Queen of Scots, imprisoned here in 1567–1568, forced to abdicate as queen, before escaping with the help of her gaoler's family. After her escape her forces were defeated at the Battle of Langside, an
Kinross is a burgh in Perth and Kinross, located around 13 miles south of Perth and around 20 miles north-west of Edinburgh. It is the traditional county town of the historic county of Kinross-shire; the site of the original parish church and churchyard are located down a small wynd overlooking Loch Leven, a little away from the town. Kinross was linked by railway to Perthshire and Clackmannanshire until the rail links disappeared. At one time three independent railway companies had their termini at the town; the Fife and Kinross Railway came from the east, the Kinross-shire Railway came from the south and The Devon Valley Railway came from the west. Kinross has expanded since the construction of the M90 motorway, the main north-south artery bypassing the town. Many people working within a commuting radius of Kinross have settled in the town owing to its central location and local amenities. Loch Leven is a popular holiday base for tourists as it is close to Edinburgh, Stirling, Perth and St Andrews.
The burgh is located on the shores of Loch Leven, there are boat trips around the loch and to Loch Leven Castle, where Mary, Queen of Scots was famously held prisoner in 1567. Up to 2014 the annual T in the Park music festival was held nearby, at the former Balado airfield. Balado is the locale of a now inactive NATO ICBM early warning radar and during the Second World War there was an airstrip and barracks; as with most of the British Isles, Kinross has an oceanic climate. Kinross offers many opportunities for sport and recreation, with many options for walking and cycling in the local area. A developed path called the Loch Leven Trails has been developed, which offers 21 km of walking and cycling heritage trail around the shoreline of Loch Leven, it begins at RSPB Vane Farm Nature Reserve via Findatie to Kinross Pier/Kirkgate Park. There is a leisure centre located in Kinross, called Loch Leven Leisure. Kinross has three amateur football teams – Kinross AFC who play in the Fife Kingdom Caledonian Football League, Fossoway AFC who play in the Fife 1st division and Portmoak AFC who play in the Perthshire 3rd division.
Andrew Barlass, American politician and farmer, was born in Kinross. Peter Leitch, recipient of the Victoria Cross Kinross was the home of Flight Sergeant George Thompson whose posthumous Victoria Cross in 1945 is cited as the best merited of the entire air war, he was the wireless operator in a Lancaster of No. 9 Squadron on a dawn raid against the Dortmund-Ems Canal when the plane was struck by a salvo of two 88 mm shells. Gacé, France Traunstein, Germany Kinross High School Kinross Primary School Kinross Community Council Kinross Primary School Kinross A. F. C
Curtain wall (fortification)
A curtain wall is a defensive wall between two towers of a castle, fortress, or town. In medieval castles, the area surrounded by a curtain wall, with or without towers, is known as the bailey; the outermost walls with their integrated bastions and wall towers together make up the enceinte or main defensive line enclosing the site. In earlier designs of castle and town, the curtain walls were built to a considerable height and were fronted by a ditch or moat to make assault difficult. With the introduction of trace italienne fortifications, the height of the curtain walls was reduced, beyond the ditch, additional outworks such as ravelins and tenailles were added to protect the curtain walls from direct cannonading. Evidence for curtain walls or a series of walls surrounding a town or fortress can be found in the historical sources from Assyria and Egypt; some notable examples are ancient Buhen. Bawn Enceinte Curry, Anne. Arms and Fortifications in the Hundred Years War, Boydell & Brewer, p. 134, ISBN 9780851157559 Friar, The Sutton Companion to Castles, Stroud: Sutton Publishing, ISBN 978-0-7509-3994-2 Whitelaw, A. ed.
The Popular Encyclopedia.
A castle is a type of fortified structure built during the Middle Ages by predominantly the nobility or royalty and by military orders. Scholars debate the scope of the word castle, but consider it to be the private fortified residence of a lord or noble; this is distinct from a palace, not fortified. Usage of the term has varied over time and has been applied to structures as diverse as hill forts and country houses. Over the 900 years that castles were built, they took on a great many forms with many different features, although some, such as curtain walls and arrowslits, were commonplace. European-style castles originated in the 9th and 10th centuries, after the fall of the Carolingian Empire resulted in its territory being divided among individual lords and princes; these nobles built castles to control the area surrounding them and the castles were both offensive and defensive structures. Although their military origins are emphasised in castle studies, the structures served as centres of administration and symbols of power.
Urban castles were used to control the local populace and important travel routes, rural castles were situated near features that were integral to life in the community, such as mills, fertile land, or a water source. Many castles were built from earth and timber, but had their defences replaced by stone. Early castles exploited natural defences, lacking features such as towers and arrowslits and relying on a central keep. In the late 12th and early 13th centuries, a scientific approach to castle defence emerged; this led with an emphasis on flanking fire. Many new castles were polygonal or relied on concentric defence – several stages of defence within each other that could all function at the same time to maximise the castle's firepower; these changes in defence have been attributed to a mixture of castle technology from the Crusades, such as concentric fortification, inspiration from earlier defences, such as Roman forts. Not all the elements of castle architecture were military in nature, so that devices such as moats evolved from their original purpose of defence into symbols of power.
Some grand castles had long winding approaches intended to dominate their landscape. Although gunpowder was introduced to Europe in the 14th century, it did not affect castle building until the 15th century, when artillery became powerful enough to break through stone walls. While castles continued to be built well into the 16th century, new techniques to deal with improved cannon fire made them uncomfortable and undesirable places to live; as a result, true castles went into decline and were replaced by artillery forts with no role in civil administration, country houses that were indefensible. From the 18th century onwards, there was a renewed interest in castles with the construction of mock castles, part of a romantic revival of Gothic architecture, but they had no military purpose; the word castle is derived from the Latin word castellum, a diminutive of the word castrum, meaning "fortified place". The Old English castel, Old French castel or chastel, French château, Spanish castillo, Italian castello, a number of words in other languages derive from castellum.
The word castle was introduced into English shortly before the Norman Conquest to denote this type of building, new to England. In its simplest terms, the definition of a castle accepted amongst academics is "a private fortified residence"; this contrasts with earlier fortifications, such as Anglo-Saxon burhs and walled cities such as Constantinople and Antioch in the Middle East. Feudalism was the link between a lord and his vassal where, in return for military service and the expectation of loyalty, the lord would grant the vassal land. In the late 20th century, there was a trend to refine the definition of a castle by including the criterion of feudal ownership, thus tying castles to the medieval period. During the First Crusade, the Frankish armies encountered walled settlements and forts that they indiscriminately referred to as castles, but which would not be considered as such under the modern definition. Castles served a range of purposes, the most important of which were military and domestic.
As well as defensive structures, castles were offensive tools which could be used as a base of operations in enemy territory. Castles were established by Norman invaders of England for both defensive purposes and to pacify the country's inhabitants; as William the Conqueror advanced through England, he fortified key positions to secure the land he had taken. Between 1066 and 1087, he established 36 castles such as Warwick Castle, which he used to guard against rebellion in the English Midlands. Towards the end of the Middle Ages, castles tended to lose their military significance due to the advent of powerful cannons and permanent artillery fortifications. A castle could act as a stronghold and prison but was a place where a knight or lord could entertain his peers. Over time the aesthetics of the design became more important, as the castle's appearance and size began to refle
Robert II of Scotland
Robert II reigned as King of Scotland from 1371 to his death as the first monarch of the House of Stewart. He was the son of Walter Stewart, 6th High Steward of Scotland and of Marjorie Bruce, daughter of the Scottish king Robert the Bruce by his first wife Isabella of Mar. Edward Bruce, younger brother of Robert the Bruce, was named heir to the throne but he died without heirs on 3 December 1318. Marjorie had died in 1317 in a riding accident and parliament decreed her infant son, Robert Stewart, as heir presumptive, but this lapsed on 5 March 1324 on the birth of a son, David, to King Robert and his second wife, Elizabeth de Burgh. Robert Stewart became High Steward of Scotland on his father's death on 9 April 1326, in same year parliament confirmed the young Steward as heir should Prince David die without a successor. In 1329 King Robert I died and the six-year-old David succeeded to the throne under the guardianship of Thomas Randolph, Earl of Moray. Edward Balliol, son of King John Balliol—assisted by the English and those Scottish nobles, disinherited by Robert I—invaded Scotland inflicting heavy defeats on the Bruce party on 11 August 1332 at Dupplin Moor and Halidon Hill on 19 July 1333.
Robert, who had fought at Halidon joined his uncle, King David in refuge in Dumbarton Castle. David escaped to France in 1334 and parliament, still functioning, appointed Robert and John Randolph, 3rd Earl of Moray as joint Guardians of the kingdom. Randolph was captured by the English in July 1335 and in the same year Robert submitted to Balliol bringing about the removal of his guardianship; the office was reinstated in 1338 and Robert held it until David's return from France in June 1341. Hostilities continued and Robert was with David at the Neville's Cross on 17 October 1346 and either escaped or fled the field but David was captured and remained a prisoner until he was ransomed in October 1357. Robert married Elizabeth Mure around 1348, legitimising five daughters, his subsequent marriage to Euphemia de Ross in 1355 produced two surviving daughters. Robert rebelled against the King in 1363 but submitted to him following a threat to his right of succession. David died in 1371 and Robert succeeded him at the age of fifty-five.
The border magnates continued to attack English-held zones in southern Scotland and by 1384, the Scots had re-taken most of the occupied lands. Robert ensured that Scotland was included in the Anglo-French truce of 1384 and, a factor in the coup in November when he lost control of the country first to his eldest son and from 1388 to John's younger brother, Robert. King Robert was buried at Scone Abbey. Robert Stewart, born in 1316, was the only child of Walter Stewart, High Steward of Scotland and King Robert I's daughter Marjorie Bruce, who died in 1317 following a riding accident, he had the upbringing of a Gaelic noble on the Stewart lands in Bute, in Renfrew. In 1315 parliament removed Marjorie's right as heir to her father in favour of her uncle, Edward Bruce. Edward was killed at the Battle of Faughart, near Dundalk on 14 October 1318, resulting in a hastily arranged Parliament in December to enact a new entail naming Marjorie's son, Robert, as heir should the king die without a successor.
The birth of a son, afterwards David II, to King Robert on 5 March 1324 cancelled Robert Stewart's position as heir presumptive, but a Parliament at Cambuskenneth in July 1326 restored him in the line of succession should David die without an heir. This reinstatement of his status was accompanied by the gift of lands in Argyll and the Lothians; the first war of independence began in the reign of King John Balliol. His short reign was bedeviled by Edward I's insistence on his overlordship of Scotland; the Scottish leadership concluded that only war could release the country from the English king's continued weakening of Balliol's sovereignty and so finalised a treaty of reciprocal assistance with France in October 1295. The Scots forayed into England in March 1296—this incursion together with the French treaty angered the English king and provoked an invasion of Scotland taking Berwick on 30 March before defeating the Scots army at Dunbar on 27 April. John Balliol submitted to Edward and resigned the throne to him before being sent to London as a prisoner.
Despite this, resistance to the English led by William Wallace and Andrew Moray had emerged in the name of King John Balliol. On their deaths, Robert the Bruce continued to resist the English and succeeded in defeating the forces of Edward II of England and gained the Scottish throne for himself. David Bruce, aged five, became king on 7 June 1329 on the death of his father Robert. Walter the Steward had died earlier on 9 April 1327, the orphaned eleven-year-old Robert was placed under the guardianship of his uncle, Sir James Stewart of Durrisdeer, who along with Thomas Randolph, Earl of Moray, William Lindsey, Archdeacon of St Andrews were appointed as joint Guardians of the kingdom. David's accession kindled the second independence war. In 1332 Edward Balliol, son of the deposed John Balliol, spearheaded an attack on the Bruce sovereignty with the tacit support of King Edward III of England and the explicit endorsement of'the disinherited'. Edward Balliol's forces delivered heavy defeats on the Bruce supporters at Dupplin Moor on 11 August 1332 and again at Halidon Hill on 19 July 1333, at which the 17-year-old Robert participated.
Robert's estates were overrun by Balliol, who granted them to David Strathbogie, titular earl of Atholl, but Robert evaded capture and gained protection at Dumbarton Castle where King David was taking refuge. Few other strongholds remain
Aberdour Castle is located in the village of Easter Aberdour, Scotland. Parts of the castle date from around 1200, making Aberdour one of the two oldest datable standing castles in Scotland, along with Castle Sween in Argyll, built at around the same time; the earliest part of the castle comprised a modest hall house, on a site overlooking the Dour Burn. Over the next 400 years, the castle was successively expanded according to contemporary architectural ideas; the hall house became a tower house in the 15th century, was extended twice in the 16th century. The final addition was made around 1635, with refined Renaissance details, the whole was complemented by a walled garden to the east and terraced gardens to the south; the terraces, dating from the mid-16th century, form one of the oldest gardens in Scotland, offer extensive views across the Firth of Forth to Edinburgh. The castle is the creation of the Douglas Earls of Morton, who held Aberdour from the 14th century; the earls used Aberdour as a second home until 1642, when their primary residence, Dalkeith House, was sold.
A fire in the late 17th century was followed by some repairs, but in 1725 the family purchased nearby Aberdour House, the medieval castle was allowed to fall into decay. Today, only the 17th-century wing remains roofed, while the tower has collapsed. Aberdour Castle is now in the care of Historic Environment Scotland, is open to the public all year; the barony of Aberdour was acquired in 1126, by Sir Alan de Mortimer, on his marriage to Anicea, daughter of Sir John de Vipont. Sir Alan built St Fillan's Church, which still stands, next to the castle, in around 1140, his family built the original hall house in around 1200, or even earlier. In 1216, another Alan de Mortimer is recorded granting land to the monks of Inchcolm Abbey. There is no record of what happened to the de Mortimers, but in the early 14th century, King Robert the Bruce granted Aberdour to his kinsman, Thomas Randolph, Earl of Moray. Moray's grandson granted the barony in turn to Sir William Douglas of Liddesdale, in 1342. In 1351, Sir William Douglas gave the lands of Aberdour to his nephew, Sir James Douglas of Dalkeith, although he retained the castle for himself until his death two years later.
The grant was confirmed by King David II in 1361. In 1386 Aberdour and Dalkeith were combined to form a single barony, with the principal seat at Dalkeith, near Edinburgh, Aberdour as a secondary residence. James, fourth Lord Dalkeith, succeeded to the joint barony in 1456, was created Earl of Morton in 1458, prior to his marriage to Joanna, the deaf-mute daughter of James I; the newly created earl expanded the existing hall house and rebuilding the structure to suit his elevated status. The second earl carried out extensions to Aberdour Castle around 1500, building a new stair tower and south block. In 1538 James V summoned the 3rd Earl of Morton before the Privy Council, accusing him of non-payment of his feudal dues, in 1540 he banished the Earl to Inverness. Morton reached Brechin, in Angus, where he signed a deed resigning his lands to his kinsman Robert Douglas of Lochleven. Lochleven was compelled to resign the lands in turn to James V, although he was permitted to keep Aberdour Castle.
After James V's death in late 1542, George Douglas of Pittendreich and the Earl of Arran assisted Morton in reclaiming his lands, including Aberdour. In return their sons were to marry two of Morton's three daughters. Pittendreich's son James married the heiress and succeeded, in 1553, as 4th Earl of Morton. Aberdour Castle was reserved to his mother-in-law, Countess Katherine, until 1564, when Mary, Queen of Scots, confirmed Morton's right to the whole barony of Dalkeith and Aberdour. In 1566, Morton was involved in planning a rebellion against the Queen, which resulted in the murder of Queen Mary's secretary, David Riccio, but failed to gain further momentum, Morton was forced to flee to England. However, by the end of the year he had returned, by July the following year, Mary was imprisoned and had been forced to abdicate by the Scottish noblemen. Morton was appointed Regent of Scotland, for the child King James VI in 1572, he undertook extensions to the castle in the 1570s, rebuilding the south block of c.
1500, extending it further south to form the present central range. He drew inspiration from contemporary gardens in England, such as Hampton Court, in laying out the terraced gardens; the Privy Council met at Aberdour Castle in August 1576, but Morton's regency came to an end in 1578. He was implicated in the 1567 murder of Queen Mary's husband, Lord Darnley, executed in 1581 on the orders of the young King. While Morton was in prison, his lands were given to his nephew, Archibald Douglas, 8th Earl of Angus, but were granted to the Earl of Lennox after Morton's execution. In 1587, Lennox returned the Morton lands to Angus, now acknowledged as the 5th Earl of Morton. On Angus' death, in 1588, the earldom of Morton passed to another kinsman, William Douglas of Lochleven. William's son predeceased his father, but his widow, Jean Lyon, continued to live at Aberdour with her third husband, Alexander Lindsay, 1st Lord Spynie. William Douglas, 7th Earl of Morton, sometimes numbered as the 6th Earl, inherited Aberdour from his grandfather in 1606.
He was Treasurer of Scotland from 1630–36, a strong supporter of the Stewart dynasty during the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. However, he was compelled to spend much of his fortune in the royal interest, leading him into financial difficulty, forcing him to sell Dalkeith to the Earl of Buccleuch in 1642. Earl William built the Renaissance east wing at Aberdour around 1635, it was certainly
Scotland is a country, part of the United Kingdom. Sharing a border with England to the southeast, Scotland is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, by the North Sea to the northeast and by the Irish Sea to the south. In addition to the mainland, situated on the northern third of the island of Great Britain, Scotland has over 790 islands, including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides; the Kingdom of Scotland emerged as an independent sovereign state in the Early Middle Ages and continued to exist until 1707. By inheritance in 1603, James VI, King of Scots, became King of England and King of Ireland, thus forming a personal union of the three kingdoms. Scotland subsequently entered into a political union with the Kingdom of England on 1 May 1707 to create the new Kingdom of Great Britain; the union created a new Parliament of Great Britain, which succeeded both the Parliament of Scotland and the Parliament of England. In 1801, the Kingdom of Great Britain and Kingdom of Ireland enacted a political union to create a United Kingdom.
The majority of Ireland subsequently seceded from the UK in 1922. Within Scotland, the monarchy of the United Kingdom has continued to use a variety of styles and other royal symbols of statehood specific to the pre-union Kingdom of Scotland; the legal system within Scotland has remained separate from those of England and Wales and Northern Ireland. The continued existence of legal, educational and other institutions distinct from those in the remainder of the UK have all contributed to the continuation of Scottish culture and national identity since the 1707 union with England; the Scottish Parliament, a unicameral legislature comprising 129 members, was established in 1999 and has authority over those areas of domestic policy which have been devolved by the United Kingdom Parliament. The head of the Scottish Government, the executive of the devolved legislature, is the First Minister of Scotland. Scotland is represented in the UK House of Commons by 59 MPs and in the European Parliament by 6 MEPs.
Scotland is a member of the British–Irish Council, sends five members of the Scottish Parliament to the British–Irish Parliamentary Assembly. Scotland is divided into councils. Glasgow City is the largest subdivision in Scotland in terms of population, with Highland being the largest in terms of area. "Scotland" comes from the Latin name for the Gaels. From the ninth century, the meaning of Scotia shifted to designate Gaelic Scotland and by the eleventh century the name was being used to refer to the core territory of the Kingdom of Alba in what is now east-central Scotland; the use of the words Scots and Scotland to encompass most of what is now Scotland became common in the Late Middle Ages, as the Kingdom of Alba expanded and came to encompass various peoples of diverse origins. Repeated glaciations, which covered the entire land mass of modern Scotland, destroyed any traces of human habitation that may have existed before the Mesolithic period, it is believed the first post-glacial groups of hunter-gatherers arrived in Scotland around 12,800 years ago, as the ice sheet retreated after the last glaciation.
At the time, Scotland was covered in forests, had more bog-land, the main form of transport was by water. These settlers began building the first known permanent houses on Scottish soil around 9,500 years ago, the first villages around 6,000 years ago; the well-preserved village of Skara Brae on the mainland of Orkney dates from this period. Neolithic habitation and ritual sites are common and well preserved in the Northern Isles and Western Isles, where a lack of trees led to most structures being built of local stone. Evidence of sophisticated pre-Christian belief systems is demonstrated by sites such as the Callanish Stones on Lewis and the Maes Howe on Orkney, which were built in the third millennium BCE; the first written reference to Scotland was in 320 BC by Greek sailor Pytheas, who called the northern tip of Britain "Orcas", the source of the name of the Orkney islands. During the first millennium BCE, the society changed to a chiefdom model, as consolidation of settlement led to the concentration of wealth and underground stores of surplus food.
The first Roman incursion into Scotland occurred in 79 AD. After the Roman victory, Roman forts were set along the Gask Ridge close to the Highland line, but by three years after the battle, the Roman armies had withdrawn to the Southern Uplands; the Romans erected Hadrian's Wall in northern England and the Limes Britannicus became the northern border of the Roman Empire. The Roman influence on the southern part of the country was considerable, they introduced Christianity to Scotland. Beginning in the sixth century, the area, now Scotland was divided into three areas: Pictland, a patchwork of small lordships in central Scotland; these societies were based on the family unit and had sharp divisions in wealth, although the vast majority were poor and worked full-time in subsistence agriculture. The Picts kept slaves through the ninth century. Gaelic influence over Pictland and Northumbria was facilitated by the large number of Gaelic-speaking clerics working as missionaries. Operating in the sixth ce