The Rock and The Map: two tales of contemporary heritage landscaping in Scotland

Hutchinson, John Alexander (2020) The Rock and The Map: two tales of contemporary heritage landscaping in Scotland. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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As opposed to the ingrained and popularly rehearsed notion that Scotland’s quintessential landscapes are mountainous, remote, rugged and wild, this thesis considers the local landmarks of Dumbarton Rock and the Great Polish Map of Scotland as exemplary of a “New Scottish Landscape”. That is, a new aesthetic, or ‘way of seeing’ the Scottish landscape as one defined by ‘everyday’ local landscapes of affiliation, as much as the ‘special’ and spectacular. Such a belief is given added traction with the demographic fact that the majority of Scotland's population inhabits the densely urbanised Central Belt, in which landscape qualities of 'wildness' and 'remoteness' are generally lacking. Despite this ‘grandeur deficit’, there is increasing recognition that exurban, post-industrial, partially degraded or abandoned landscapes have the capacity to generate intensities of belonging and attachment, reflecting new, distinctive heritage values.
Aligned with ‘processual’ conceptual understandings of landscape and heritage as situated, subjective phenomena, ‘the Rock’ and ‘the Map’ are approached in this thesis as instances of “heritage landscaping”, whereby landscape and heritage are figured as conjoined; emerging and unfolding together in practice and experience. Informing a phenomenological methodological design around fieldwork principles of observation, sensation, practice and performance, a range of research materials are gathered to tell the stories of the Rock and the Map. Recounted in two central empirical chapters, the Rock and the Map are explored respectively through the provision of a historical-cultural biography, lending context and time-depth to my own situated experiences through participative intervention.
As contrasting but related instances of community-driven heritage landscaping, the Rock and the Map are then considered together to critically engage with recent conceptual developments in landscape and heritage practice towards ‘democratisation’. That is, a loosening of traditionally top-down professional landscape and heritage decision-making, to better account for the often intangible ‘social values’ held by ‘unofficial’ local communities of interest. Drawing upon my situated inquiries of the Rock and the Map, I contend that landscape phenomenology and a ‘performative ethos’ provide a creative and effective means of apprehending and accounting for these alternative narratives, allowing us to uncover and illuminate the latent potential and cultural value held within the New Scottish Landscape.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Scotland, heritage, landscape, heritage landscaping, Dumbarton Rock, Great Polish Map of Scotland.
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
Colleges/Schools: College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences > Geography
Supervisor's Name: Lorimer, Professor Hayden
Date of Award: 2020
Depositing User: Dr John Alexander Hutchinson
Unique ID: glathesis:2020-79003
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2020 14:58
Last Modified: 07 Sep 2022 16:14
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.79003

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