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    Timeline of prehistoric Scotland Repeated glaciations, which covered the entire land mass of modern Scotland, destroyed any traces of human habitation that may have existed before the Mesolithic period.


    It is believed the first post-glacial groups of hunter-gatherers arrived in Scotland around 12, years ago, as the ice sheet retreated after the last glaciation. A Neolithic settlement, located on the west coast of Mainland, Orkney. The groups of settlers began building the first known permanent houses on Scottish soil around 9, years ago, and the first villages around 6, years ago.

    The well-preserved village of Skara Brae on the mainland of Orkney dates from this period. Neolithic habitation, burial, and ritual sites are particularly common and well preserved in the Northern Isles and Western Isleswhere a lack of trees led to most structures being built of local stone.

    It contains the remains of an early Bronze Age ruler laid out on white quartz pebbles and birch bark. It was also discovered for the first time that early Bronze Age people placed flowers in their graves. When the storm cleared, local villagers found the outline of a village, consisting of a number of small houses without roofs.

    Scotland during the Roman Empire One part of a distance slab found at Bo'ness dated ca. Original at the NMS with a full replica at Bo'ness [42] The written protohistory of Scotland began with the arrival of the Roman Empire in southern and central Great Britain, when the Romans occupied what is now England and Wales, administering it as a province called Britannia.

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    Roman invasions and occupations of southern Scotland were a series of brief interludes. According to the Roman historian Tacitusthe Caledonians "turned to armed resistance on a large scale", attacking Roman forts and skirmishing with their legions.

    In a surprise night-attack, the Caledonians very nearly wiped out the whole 9th Legion until it was saved by Agricola's cavalry. Tacitus wrote that, before the battle, the Caledonian leader, Calgacusgave a rousing speech in which he called his people the "last of the free" and accused the Romans of "making the world a desert and calling it peace" freely translated.

    Three years after the battle, the Roman armies had withdrawn to the Southern Uplands. However, some archaeologists have argued against this view, saying there is no archaeological or placename evidence for a migration or a takeover by a small group of elites.

    The development of "Pictland", according to the historical model developed by Peter Heatherwas a natural response to Roman imperialism.

    By the 12th century, the kings of Alba had added to their territories the English -speaking land in the south-east and attained overlordship of Gaelic -speaking Galloway and Norse -speaking Caithness ; by the end of the 13th century, the kingdom had assumed approximately its modern borders.

    However, processes of cultural and economic change beginning in the 12th century ensured Scotland looked very different in the later Middle Ages. The push for this change was the reign of David I and the Davidian Revolution. Feudalism, government reorganisation and the first legally recognised towns called burghs began in this period. These institutions and the immigration of French and Anglo-French knights and churchmen facilitated cultural osmosis, whereby the culture and language of the low-lying and coastal parts of the kingdom's original territory in the east became, like the newly acquired south-east, English-speaking, while the rest of the country retained the Gaelic language, apart from the Northern Isles of Orkney and Shetland, which remained under Norse rule until The death of Alexander III in Marchfollowed by that of his granddaughter Margaret, Maid of Norwaybroke the centuries-old succession line of Scotland's kings and shattered the year golden age that began with David I.

    Edward I of England was asked to arbitrate between claimants for the Scottish crown, and he organised a process known as the Great Cause to identify the most legitimate claimant. Edward I, who had coerced recognition as Lord Paramount of Scotlandthe feudal superior of the realm, steadily undermined John's authority. Instead, the Scottish parliament sent envoys to France to negotiate an alliance.

    Scotland and France sealed a treaty on 23 Octoberknown as the Auld Alliance — War ensued and King John was deposed by Edward who took personal control of Scotland. Andrew Moray and William Wallace initially emerged as the principal leaders of the resistance to English rule in what became known as the Wars of Scottish Independence — Robert I battled to restore Scottish Independence as King for over 20 years, beginning by winning Scotland back from the Norman English invaders piece by piece.

    Victory at the Battle of Bannockburn in proved the Scots had regained control of their kingdom. InEdward Brucebrother of the King, was briefly appointed High King of Ireland during an ultimately unsuccessful Scottish invasion of Ireland aimed at strengthening Scotland's position in its wars against England.

    In the world's first documented declaration of independence, the Declaration of Arbroathwon the support of Pope John XXIIleading to the legal recognition of Scottish sovereignty by the English Crown.

    However, war with England continued for several decades after the death of Bruce. A civil war between the Bruce dynasty and their long-term Comyn-Balliol rivals lasted until the middle of the 14th century. The country they ruled experienced greater prosperity from the end of the 14th century through the Scottish Renaissance to the Reformation.

    This was despite continual warfare with England, the increasing division between Highlands and Lowlandsand a large number of royal minorities. Three years later, at the Battle of Verneuilthe French and Scots lost around men. Early modern period Main article: For Henry, the marriage into one of Europe's most established monarchies gave legitimacy to the new Tudor royal line. He was the last British monarch to die in battle, at the Battle of Flodden.

    France agreed to withdraw all land and naval forces. In the same year,John Knox realised his goal of seeing Scotland become a Protestant nation and the Scottish parliament revoke papal authority in Scotland. The Battle of Altimarlach in was the last significant clan battle fought between highland clans.

    Mortality, reduced childbirths and increased emigration reduced the population of parts of the country by between 10 and 15 percent. Almost every Scottish landowner who had money to spare is said to have invested in the Darien scheme. Its failure bankrupted these landowners, but not the burghs. Nevertheless, the nobles' bankruptcy, along with the threat of an English invasion, played a leading role in convincing the Scots elite to back a union with England.

    The clippers belonging to the Glasgow Tobacco Lords were the fastest ships on the route to Virginia. Until the American War of Independence inGlasgow was the world's premier tobacco port, dominating world trade.

    The deposed Jacobite Stuart claimants had remained popular in the Highlands and north-east, particularly amongst non- Presbyteriansincluding Roman Catholics and Episcopalian Protestants. However, two major Jacobite risings launched in and failed to remove the House of Hanover from the British throne.

    The threat of the Jacobite movement to the United Kingdom and its monarchs effectively ended at the Battle of CullodenGreat Britain's last pitched battle. The Scottish Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution made Scotland into an intellectual, commercial and industrial powerhouse [78] —so much so Voltaire said "We look to Scotland for all our ideas of civilisation.

    Historian Neil Davidson notes "after there was an entirely new level of participation by Scots in political life, particularly outside Scotland. These social and economic changes included the first phase of the Highland Clearances and, ultimately, the demise of clanship.

    It became the world's pre-eminent shipbuilding centre. While the Scottish Enlightenment is traditionally considered to have concluded toward the end of the 18th century, [90] disproportionately large Scottish contributions to British science and letters continued for another 50 years or more, thanks to such figures as the physicists James Clerk Maxwell and Lord Kelvinand the engineers and inventors James Watt and William Murdochwhose work was critical to the technological developments of the Industrial Revolution throughout Britain.

    His first prose work, Waverley inis often called the first historical novel. Barrie and George MacDonald. The Glasgow Schoolwhich developed in the late 19th century, and flourished in the early 20th century, produced a distinctive blend of influences including the Celtic Revival the Arts and Crafts movementand Japonismwhich found favour throughout the modern art world of continental Europe and helped define the Art Nouveau style.

    Proponents included architect and artist Charles Rennie Mackintosh. In the s, as part of the Romantic revivaltartan and the kilt were adopted by members of the social elite, not just in Scotland, but across Europe, [96] [97] prompted by the popularity of Macpherson's Ossian cycle [98] [99] and then Walter Scott's Waverley novels.

    These problems, and the desire to improve agriculture and profits were the driving forces of the ongoing Highland Clearancesin which many of the population of the Highlands suffered eviction as lands were enclosed, principally so that they could be used for sheep farming. The first phase of the clearances followed patterns of agricultural change throughout Britain. The second phase was driven by overpopulation, the Highland Potato Famine and the collapse of industries that had relied on the wartime economy of the Napoleonic Wars.

    The behaviour of tenants and landlords varied, but overall the clearances were notorious as a result of the late timing, the lack of legal protection for year-by-year tenants under Scots lawthe abruptness of the change from the traditional clan system, and the brutality of some evictions.

    As a result, during the period —, about 2 million Scots migrated to North America and Australia, and anotherScots relocated to England. After prolonged years of struggle in the Kirk, in the Evangelicals gained control of the General Assembly and passed the Veto Act, which allowed congregations to reject unwanted "intrusive" presentations to livings by patrons.

    The following "Ten Years' Conflict" of legal and political wrangling ended in defeat for the non-intrusionists in the civil courts. The result was a schism from the church by some of the non-intrusionists led by Dr Thomas Chalmersknown as the Great Disruption of Roughly a third of the clergy, mainly from the North and Highlands, formed the separate Free Church of Scotland.

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    Indespite opposition, a Roman Catholic ecclesiastical hierarchy was restored to the country, and Catholicism became a significant denomination within Scotland.

    From the state began to fund buildings with grants; then from it was funding schools by direct sponsorship; and in Scotland moved to a system like that in England of state-sponsored largely free schools, run by local school boards.

    From Scottish universities could admit and graduate women and the numbers of women at Scottish universities steadily increased until the early 20th century. Scotland played a major role in the British effort in the First World War. It especially provided manpower, ships, machinery, fish and money.

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    The war saw the emergence of a radical movement called " Red Clydeside " led by militant trades unionists. Formerly a Liberal stronghold, the industrial districts switched to Labour bywith a base among the Irish Catholic working-class districts. Women were especially active in building neighbourhood solidarity on housing issues.

    However, the "Reds" operated within the Labour Party and had little influence in Parliament and the mood changed to passive despair by the late s. The interwar years were marked by economic stagnation in rural and urban areas, and high unemployment.

    Thoughtful Scots pondered their declension, as the main social indicators such as poor health, bad housing, and long-term mass unemployment, pointed to terminal social and economic stagnation at best, or even a downward spiral.

    Service abroad on behalf of the Empire lost its allure to ambitious young people, who left Scotland permanently. The heavy dependence on obsolescent heavy industry and mining was a central problem, and no one offered workable solutions. The despair reflected what Finlay describes as a widespread sense of hopelessness that prepared local business and political leaders to accept a new orthodoxy of centralised government economic planning when it arrived during the Second World War.
    The boundary of the site is marked by the Canongate stretch of the Royal Mile on its northern side, Horse Wynd on its eastern side, where the public entrance to the building is, and Reid's Close on its western side.

    The south eastern side of the complex is bounded by the Our Dynamic Earth visitor attraction which opened in Julyand Queen's Drive which fringes the slopes of Salisbury Crags. The Holyrood and Dumbiedykes areas, to the west of the site, have been extensively redeveloped sincewith new retail, hotel and office developments, including Barclay House, the new offices of The Scotsman Publications Ltd.

    The Treaty of Unionsigned increated an incorporating political union between the Kingdom of Scots and the Kingdom of England. The two previous Acts of Union one for the British Parliament and one for the Parliament of Scotland had dissolved the previous parliaments.


    As a consequence, Scotland was directly governed from London for the next years without a legislature or a Parliament building of its own. Whilst much of this conversion was completed including creation of the main debating hall and the building was renamed New Parliament House it was determined that the facility was too small for its stated purpose as and when that purpose arose. Following the April election, when a weakened John Major was re-elected, a campaign group set up adjacent to the Royal High School at the foot of the access road to Calton Hill.

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    Starting informally this became a permanently manned "vigil" to keep the concept in the public mind. A referendum of the Scottish electorate, held on 11 Septemberapproved the establishment of a directly elected Scottish Parliament to legislate on most domestic affairs.

    The red tiles of Queensberry House are visible between the MSP Office block at the back of the complex and the Tower and Canongate Buildings at the front which house the debating chamber and committee rooms. The date for announcing the winner overran and on the date of the expected announcement instead it was announced that they were going to "rethink their decision" [20] inferring that indeed a decision had been made and add the Holyrood Brewery site into the running which had only just closed.

    The five final designs were put on public display throughout Scotland in June Feedback from the public displays showed that the designs of the Spanish architect Enric Miralles were amongst the most popular. The Parliament should be able to reflect the land it represents.

    The building should arise from the sloping base of Arthur's Seat and arrive into the city almost surging out of the rock. This intractably difficult question was tackled by displacing the question of identity into the landscape of Scotland.

    In a characteristically poetic approach he talked about slotting the building into the land "in the form of a gathering situation: Miralles intended to use the parliament to help build the end of Canongate—"not just another building on the street In a subtle game of cross views and political implications.

    The buildings have a variety of features, with the most distinctive external characterisation being the roof of the Tower Buildings, said to be reminiscent of upturned boats on the shoreline. Three distinctive water features provide the centrepiece for this area.

    References to Scottish culture are also reflected in the building and particularly on some of the building's elevations. There are a series of "trigger panels", constructed out of timber or granite. Not to everyone's taste, [34] these have been said to represent anvilshairdryers, guns, question marks or even the hammer and sickle. Shortly after the official opening of the building, Enric Miralles' widow, Benedetta Tagliabuerevealed that the design is simply that of a window curtain pulled back.

    Here the architect intends another metaphor; by setting the debating chamber directly above the public area, he seeks to remind MSPs whilst sitting in the chamber that their power derives from the people below them. On non-sitting days, normally Mondays, Fridays and weekends as well as during parliamentary recess periods, visitors are able to view the Main Hall of the building and can access the public galleries of the debating chamber and main committee rooms.

    Guided tours are also available on non-sitting days and these allow visitors access to the floor of the chamber, the Garden Lobby, Queensberry House and committee rooms in the company of a parliamentary guide. On sitting days, members of the public must purchase tickets for the public galleries of both the chamber and committee rooms.

    Solar panels can also be seen, part of the building's sustainability strategy. The Scottish Parliament Building was designed with a number of sustainability features in mind. The decision to build the Parliament on a brownfield site and its proximity to hubs of public transport are seen as sustainable, environmentally friendly features. All of the electricity purchased for the building comes from renewable sources and solar panels on the Canongate Building are used for heating water in the complex.

    This approach, however, brings with it the potential problem of overheating during the summer due to solar heat gains through the glazing, body heat and the use of computers and electric lighting. Standard solutions to the problem usually involve using energy intensive HVAC systems. Natural ventilation is used wherever possible. A computerised management system senses the temperature in different parts of the Parliament and automatically opens windows to keep the building cool.

    During summer months, the building opens the windows during the night time when it is unoccupied and permits the heavy concrete floors and structure to cool and rid themselves of heat absorbed during the day.

    This then helps to keep the building temperature down during the day by absorbing the excess heat from the glazing, occupants and electrical equipment.

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    Such a layout is intended to blur political divisions and principally reflects the desire to encourage consensus amongst elected members. The desks are constructed out of oak and sycamore and are fitted with a lectern, a microphone and in-built speakers as well as the electronic voting equipment used by MSPs. The connecting nodes were fabricated by welders for Scotland's oil industry. The use of the Arniston Stone in the structure of the debating chamber symbolises the connection between the historical Parliament of Scotland and the present day Scottish Parliament.

    At night, light is shone through the glass panels and is projected onto the MSPs' desks to create the impression that the chamber is never unoccupied. The necessities of a modern parliament, banks of light, cameras, electronic voting and the MSPs' console have all been transformed into works of craft and art, displaying the sweeping curves and leaf motifs that inform the rest of the building.

    Such is the level of craftsmanship, a result of the union of Miralles' inventive designs, superb detailing by RMJM and excellent craftsmanship in execution, that Jencks was prompted to state that the [Parliament] is "an arts and crafts building, designed with high-tech flair.

    You really have to go back to the Houses of Parliament in London to get interior design of such a high creative level—in fact, it is more creative". The structural engineers, Arupstated that the problem with the collapsed beam was entirely due to the failure of one bolt and the absence of another.

    There was no design fault. The report also indicated that whilst one of the bolts was missing, the other was broken and had damaged threads commensurate with being overtightened or jammed, which twisted the head off, or came close to doing so. The block contains offices for each MSP and two members of staff, fitted out with custom-designed furniture. The building is between four and six storeys in height, and is clad in granite.


    MSPs occupy of the total rooms in the building. The Tower Buildings are home to the public entrance of the Scottish Parliament and to the Main Hall which is located on the eastern side of the parliamentary complex, beneath the debating chamber. Inthe geriatric hospital closed and the building was incorporated into the Scottish and Newcastle brewery, who owned the surrounding site.

    The building has been extensively refurbished, and returned to its original height of three storeys to provide facilities for the Presiding OfficerDeputy Presiding Officers, the Chief Executive of the Scottish Parliament and various parliamentary support staff. Internally and externally the building has been strengthened with reinforced steel and concrete. The original timber flooring has been replaced throughout with a mixture of carpet, vinyl, oak and Caithness stone. The room hosts the personal collection of books and other memorabilia donated to the Parliament by the family of Donald Dewar after his death.

    The Scottish Parliament holds a wide variety of artwork and sculpture ranging from specially commissioned pieces to official gifts from overseas parliamentary delegations. In order to facilitate the incorporation of art into the building, a consultative steering group was established by the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body SPCB under the chairmanship of Jamie Stone MSP with the remit of deciding which artworks should be chosen.

    Some pieces of artwork are on public display in the building. The stones are set into large concrete casts, each one inscribed with a quotation. The Canongate Wall contains a total of 24 quotations. Presented by the Queen upon the opening of the Parliament building, the sculpture is modelled on the actual Honours of Scotlandthe crownsceptre and the sword of the state, and combines these three separate elements into one composition.

    Commissioned by the art strategy group, the desk combines a unique design constructed from oak and sycamore and functions as a workstation for six members of parliamentary staff. The mace is housed in a glass case in the debating chamber and has a formal, ceremonial role during meetings of the Parliament.

    The words "There shall be a Scottish Parliament" which are the first words of the Scotland Actare inscribed around the head of the mace. Critical response[ edit ] The Committee Rooms of the Scottish Parliament reflect the unique architectural style of Miralles, which has won much critical acclaim.

    Public reaction to the design of the building has been mixed. As well as cost, criticisms of the building stem primarily from the modernist and abstract architecture, the quality of the building work and the location of the building.

    Its rampant complexity, iconography and layering of meaning and metaphor are widely regarded as producing a building which is "quite a meal". For him, the building is not just a functional or economic enterprise, it is an exploration of national identity and in comparing it to other comparable assemblies, not least the Palace of Westminsterhe argues the cost is comparable.

    The conception of the building has been singled out for praise, particularly in the way it re-establishes Scotland's traditional focus towards mainland Europe and its values by means of the layout of the non-adversarial debating chamber and the creation of the public spaces in front of the building, "where people can meet and express themselves as a force".

    In an era of the Bilbao effect and the iconic building, Jencks is impressed that rather than being a monumental building, as is usual for capital landmarks, the building creates a complex union of nature and culture that nestles itself into the landscape. In the satirical magazine Private Eye also conferred the building with their Sir Hugh Casson Award for "worst new building of the year". Rising costs and the use of public money to fund the project generated most controversy.

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