20/02/2018
Share this story Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

Moray student awarded scholarship for ground-breaking archaeology research

2104cb66-8a3d-4c39-889f-bb9f459e0a83

A Moray student is to undertake new research into the fate of farms which were set up on marginal land after the Highland Clearances.

Stephen Worth from Findhorn is the first University of the Highlands and Islands student to be awarded a Carnegie-Caledonian PhD scholarship and is one of only 19 recipients in Scotland this year. Administered by the Carnegie Trust, the award will help to cover Stephen’s fees and research expenses for three years. 

Join the History Scotland community  
Follow us on facebook
Follow us on twitter
Sign up for our free e-newsletter

Discover History Scotland magazine

Stephen is using the scholarship to undertake ground-breaking research into the fate of farms which were set up on marginal land after the Highland Clearances. 

The use of marginal land

Stephen said: “Farming practices in the north of Scotland underwent major change between the mid-18th and mid-19th centuries. Advances in science and technology as well as changes in ideologies led to the demise of communal agricultural systems managed by townships. Many people established their own farms in marginal, upland areas which had previously only been used for grazing in the summer months. 

“However, a large number of these farms failed and now lie in ruins. Previous research has mostly been documentary, but I hope to complement this by taking an interdisciplinary approach which also uses archaeological analysis. I will combine information from archival material such as estate records and historical maps along with archaeological tests such as soil sampling and geophysical survey to gain a wider understanding of why these farms proved to be unsustainable.” 

Fulfilling a lifelong dream

Stephen decided to follow his passion for history and archaeology after retiring from a 38-year career in the Royal Air Force. He completed a BA (Hons) in archaeology at Moray College UHI before gaining an MSc in archaeological practice with the University of the Highlands and Islands Archaeology Institute at Orkney College UHI. He is now completing his PhD through the university’s Centre for History, with support from the Archaeology Institute. 

Speaking about being awarded a Carnegie-Caledonian PhD scholarship, he said: “It has taken some time to sink in just how fortunate I have been to receive this scholarship. The Carnegie Trust only award a limited number of scholarships each year to students from all the universities in Scotland. I feel very honoured to have been selected from all the potential candidates. I was unaware that I am the first student from the University of the Highlands and Islands to achieved this and realise that, firstly, I must thank all the lecturers and staff who have supported me throughout and, secondly, seize this opportunity to undertake this research and fulfil a lifelong dream.” 

For more information about history and archaeology courses at the University of the Highlands and Islands, visit their website.

Back to "Scottish archaeology" Category

20/02/2018 Share this story   Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

Recent Updates

Anne of Denmark - mother of King Charles I - was born - On this day in history

Anne of Denmark, mother of King Charles I, was born on 12 December 1574.


Ten things you might not know about the Jacobites in the 1745 Rising

From the presence of gunmen at the Battle of Culloden, to the colours of the tartan worn by participants in ...


A history of Stirling Castle

Neil Oliver explores the history of Stirling Castle, a favourite residence of the royal Stewarts. ...


Scottish architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh died - On this day in history

Scottish architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh died on 10 December 1928.


Other Articles

Malcolm IV King of Scots died - On this day in Scottish history

Malcolm IV, King of Scotland, died at Jedburgh on 9 December 1165.


Mary Queen of Scots was born - On this day in Scottish history

Mary Queen of Scots was born at Linlithgow Palace on 8 December 1542.


History Scotland's exclusive interview with Mary Queen of Scots director Josie Rourke

Josie Rourke, director of Mary Queen of Scots, talks to History Scotland about the challenges of portraying ...


New research reveals early Scottish migrant had brown eyes and black hair

The digital reconstruction of Ava, a skeleton buried more than 4,000 years ago in Achavanich in Caithness, ...