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Scotland from the Sky

James Crawford


‘In this book, you will travel in both space and time, starting in the years around the First World War and moving all the way up to the present day. As you go, you will see just what our pioneering aviators saw as they stared out from their cockpits. And, more than that, you will explore what they were trying to find. Because, from above, Scotland can be many different things, depending on what you choose to look at – and who is doing the looking.’

Accompanying the BBC documentary series Scotland from the Sky, this lavishly illustrated book draws on the vast collection of aerial photography held in the archives of Historic Environment Scotland. Historian and series presenter James Crawford opens an extraordinary window into our past to tell the remarkable story of a nation from above – taking readers back in time to show how our great cities have dramatically altered with the ebb and flow of history, while whole communities have vanished in the name of progress. The book shows how aerial imagery can reveal treasures from the ancient past, uncovering secrets buried right beneath our feet. And it demonstrates how the view from above has been at the heart of the postwar transformation of both our countryside and our urban landscapes.

This is a fascinating – and little known – story of war, innovation, adventure, cities, landscapes and people. This is the story of Scotland, from the sky.


James Crawford is Publisher at Historic Environment Scotland and the Saltire-nominated author of Fallen Glory: The Lives and Deaths of the World’s Greatest Lost Buildings. He has previously written a number of books on aerial photography, including Above ScotlandScotland’s Landscapes and Aerofilms: A History of Britain from Above. This is his first series for the BBC as writer and presenter.



'A stunning combination of aviation adventure and historical detective work' Press and Journal

'Opens up many secrets and surprises . . . exhilarating' Courier


ISBN 9781849172523

Publication: 3 May 2018


300 x 245mm

Published by:
Historic Environment Scotland

Price: £25.00

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