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During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries the inhabitants of many small farming communities in the Scottish Highlands were forced to leave their homes. Under the guise of improvement landlords drove out traditional subsistence farmers and created a much less densely occupied landscape. One of the communities affected by this process of ‘clearance’ was the township of Caen in Sutherland.
Caen was located in the lower part of the Strath of Kildonan. This area was cleared particularly brutally by representatives of the Duke of Sutherland between 1813 and 1819. Several families resisted the clearances and soldiers were sent from Fort George to maintain order. Today only a few foundations indicate where a thriving farming community once stood. This reconstruction shows the Caen township as it may have looked in 1813, just before the families who lived and worked here were forced out from the Strath of Kildonan.
Digitisation funded by the EU Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme 2014-2020 through the “Connected Culture and Natural Heritage in a Northern Environment” (CINE) project.