A comparison of Scottish and Norwegian hutting traditions, with particular reference to the communities of Carbeth and Lindøya 1905-2013

  • Lesley Anne Riddoch

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


This thesis compares the origins and development of hutting as a leisure activity in Scotland and Norway through statistical comparison, examination of historical context, analysis of hitherto unpublished Scottish Government research and case studies of two hutting communities set up near Oslo and Glasgow in 1922. The evidence suggests hutting blossomed in Norway because a history of widespread and relatively uncontested landownership made Norwegians feel connected to nature and able to obtain individual hut sites in desirable, secluded, wooded settings with relative ease compared to the precarious and strictly-ordered hutting communities established by Scots. The enduring difficulty of buying or securely leasing a tiny strip of land in Scotland from private land or forest owners thwarted the expansion of hutting here beyond tightly packed, working class communities to the widely scattered, individually-sited cabins favoured by most Norwegians. This research suggests these different traditions are the result of similar political, economic and social forces coming to bear on fundamentally different democratic landscapes. Themes explored include the history of farming, forestry, landownership, urbanisation, industrialisation, housing, leisure and holiday provision for workers. Contemporary political and economic developments are examined along with the role of determined individuals in ignoring prevailing social norms. Early urbanisation seems less important in explaining the relative absence of huts in Scotland than the difficulty of accessing and retaining land which in turn, prompted the development of legislation, further embedding social outlooks that regarded huts as problematic and ideal landscapes as empty and "development-free."
Date of Award22 Apr 2020
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University Of Strathclyde
SupervisorRichard Finlay (Supervisor) & Mark Ellis (Supervisor)

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