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Old Broubster Village

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Old Broubster Village, watercolour, 25 x 36 cm Throughout the Highlands in the Nineteenth Century, tenant farmers were evicted from their homes, or 'crofts', during the notorious Highland Clearances . Landowners, in a drive for efficiency and more profitable land use, wanted to replace the old system of small-holdings with large sheep ranches. The crofters were forced out of their scattered homes, often in a brutal manner, and re-housed in new communities. The land that they were given was often of poor quality and they had to work hard to maintain even a subsistence level of life. During this period many people took up the offer of a new life overseas, emigrating to Canada, New Zealand and Australia, where their descendants still have strong links with Scotland. In 1839 tenants from the estates of Broubster and Shurrery , in Caithness , were resettled in a new village. Land was provided for them, but they probably had to build their own houses. The dwelling