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Who Built Scotland (paperback)

Twenty-Five Journeys in Search of a Nation

Kathleen Jamie, Alistair Moffat, Alexander McCall Smith, James Robertson, James Crawford


'What we build always reveals things that are deeply and innately human. Because all buildings are stories, one way or another.'

Kathleen Jamie, Alexander McCall Smith, Alistair Moffat, James Robertson and James Crawford travel across the country to tell the story of the nation, from abandoned islands and lonely glens to the heart of our modern cities. Whether visiting Shetland's Mousa Broch at midsummer, following in the footsteps of pilgrims to Iona Abbey, joining the tourist bustle at Edinburgh Castle, scaling the Forth Bridge or staying in an off-the-grid eco-bothy, the authors unravel the stories of the places, people and passions that have had an enduring impact on the landscape and character of Scotland.



Alexander McCall Smith is one of the world’s most prolific and popular authors. He has written over 80 books, including the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series and the Scotland Street novels.

Alistair Moffat is an award-winning author of history books, including Scotland: A History from Earliest Times and The Great Tapestry of Scotland, and a former Director of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

James Crawford is Publisher at HES and the author of the Saltire-nominated Fallen Glory: The Lives and Deaths of the World’s Greatest Lost Buildings.

James Robertson is the Booker-longlisted author of highly acclaimed novels including And the Land Lay Still, Joseph Knight and The Testament of Gideon Mack. He is also a publisher of poetry and children’s books in Scots.

Kathleen Jamie is a writer of poetry and non-fiction, including the critically acclaimed essay collections Sightlines and Findings. She was the winner of the Saltire Book of the Year 2016 with The Bonniest Companie and was awarded the 2012 Costa Poetry Prize for The Overhaul.



'The quality of the writing is uniformly high . . . This is a very good book; edifying and, at times, revelatory' The Herald

'The 25 essays are all admirable appreciations of buildings - or of landscapes and places from which buildings have long disappeared. They are written with knowledge and enthusiasm and the photographs are gorgeous . . . [Who Built Scotland] is very enjoyable and rich in information. You would have to be quite exceptionally knowledgeable not to learn much from it, and it certainly paints a fine picture of our strange and varied country and its history' Allan Massie, The Scotsman

'inspiring and fascinating' Undiscovered Scotland


ISBN 9781849172721



Published by:
Historic Environment Scotland

Price: £9.99

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