Annie Tindley

Dr Annie Tindley

Dr Annie Tindley, Senior Lecturer in History, Director of the Centre for Scotland’s Land Futures and programme co-ordinator for the MLitt in Scottish History by Distance Learning



Annie completed her MA (2001), MSc by Research (2002) and PhD (2006) in Scottish history at the University of Edinburgh, her research focusing on modern rural Scottish history, with a particular focus on landed estates and aristocratic families. After a short spell at the University of Aberdeen as a temporary lecturer in early 2006, she worked from mid-2006 to 2013 at Glasgow Caledonian University as Lecturer and then Senior Lecturer, joining the University of Dundee in August 2013.

Her particular research interests revolve around the interrogation of the aristocratic and landed classes, landed estates and their management from the mid-eighteenth to mid-twentieth centuries, in the Scottish, Irish, British and imperial contexts. She is interested in the ways in which landed elites defined and translated their power – territorial, political, social, financial – across their estates, the domestic political world of Westminster, and into the imperial context as governors and legislators. Her first book examined western Europe’s largest landed estate in the later nineteenth century – the Sutherland estate – tracking its evolving priorities, powers and drivers under a framework of ‘decline and fall.’ As such, the book made an important contribution to the rather neglected historiography of the rural past, particularly that of landed elites.

With the central aim of building up a community of scholars, communities and key rural stakeholders, Annie established in August 2015 the Centre for Scotland’s Land Futures ( This Centre, jointly hosted by the University of Dundee, the University of Stirling and the University of the Highlands and Islands, seeks to support and develop research, teaching and engagement/impact activities on Scotland’s land issues, primarily from arts and humanities perspectives. We have been awarded PhD funding, and research funding from the Scottish Graduate School for the Arts & Humanities and the Scottish Universities Insight Institute, for projects on the Argyll Estates and community landowning. The Centre is also in the process of establishing our own book series with Edinburgh University Press.

Annie’s current major research project, and the subject of her third (forthcoming) monograph, is to examine the imperial dimension of British landed aristocrats, their estate management, responses to land reform and the nature of imperial governance and connection, through the life and career of Lord Dufferin and Ava, an Ulster landowner and imperial governor and diplomat. Annie has also worked on a number of collaborative, interdisciplinary projects with scientists, water engineers, practising medics and design specialists, looking at areas as diverse as the impact of river morphology on social history and the history of healthcare provision in the Highlands. She has also written extensively on the nature of design and technology in the nineteenth century, in the British and imperial contexts. Her collaborative approach was recognised in 2001, when Annie was selected for the Scottish Crucible programme, and in 2014, when she was selected to become a member of the Young Academy of Scotland.

Public Engagement

Annie regards public engagement and the development of impact from research as a core activity, and is currently extending this with the new Centre for Scotland’s Land Futures. However, Annie already has a strong track record of public engagement, media and research impact work, for instance on the project, ‘Using history to inform the future of remote and rural healthcare: the Dewar Committee and the Highlands and Islands Medical Service, 1912-2012’. My research on changes in welfare in the Highlands and Islands during the later nineteenth-century supported the formation of the Dewar Centenary Group, which employed the historical example of the 1912 Dewar Commission to lobby the Scottish Government and NHS Highland to bring about key reforms in medical training and healthcare policy. Two grants were won from the Wellcome Trust to support this work, which included a conference, a symposium, extensive media coverage, a touring museum and archives exhibition, and a debate in the Scottish Parliament in May 2012. See:

This work was submitted as the REF 2014 Impact case study for the History UoA for GCU:


Annie has a collegiate attitude to working and has been programme leader and Head of History (GCU), and History Learning & Teaching Co-ordinator at Dundee, contributing to very successful student satisfaction and NSS outcomes. She is currently leading the Athena SWAN Bronze Award application for the School of Humanities.

Professional Memberships, Activities & Prizes

  • Director of the Centre for Scotland’s Land Futures (
  • Member of the RSE Young Academy of Scotland (YAS)
  • Associate Director of the Centre for Scottish Culture
  • Member of the AHRC Peer Review College
  • Fellow of the Royal Historical Society
  • The Jeremiah Dalziel Prize for British History, 2005.
  • Elected Council member and Communications and Consultations Officer for the Scottish History Society
  • Chair of the Editorial board for Northern Scotland
  • Assistant Editor of Britain and the World journal (Edinburgh University Press), 2011-2014.
  • Council Member of the Economic and Social History Society of Scotland
  • Council Member of the Scottish Records Association
  • Trustee and Treasurer of the Friends of the Argyll Papers (2015)
  • Scottish Crucible 2011 participant
  • Member of the Steam Plough Association


Teaching and Research

Teaching and Research

Annie is an experienced and innovative teacher, dedicated to the principles of research-led teaching, and has a strong track record in developing innovative approaches, via blended and distance learning, particularly at TPG level. She is programme organiser for the MLitt in Scottish History by distance learning and has increased student numbers since 2013. Employability is a key priority and through the Centre for Scotland’s Land Futures, Annie has developed a programme of placements and internships for students.

Annie teaches and researches on the following key areas, and would be interested to hear from potential doctoral students and fellow academics looking to pursue research on:

  • Aristocratic history and the history of landed estates in Britain and Ireland
  • Imperial history (Britain, Ireland and the Empire)
  • British and Irish aristocrats in the Empire, c.1790-1945; researching the links between landed estate management, land reform in the international context and imperial governance.
  • Modern Scottish history (1707-1945)
  • History of the modern Scottish Highlands (social, economic, political)
  • Agricultural and rural history

Broadly then, Annie researches and teaches social and economic history, and has a strong track record in collaborative work, both with other historians, and academics from a wide range of other disciplines. This includes work on modern rural history, particularly that of landed estates, through estate archives and more recently and in collaboration, through mapping archives; the history of health and healthcare provision in remote and rural Scotland; the environmental history of the Scottish Highlands, in collaboration with scientists and engineers; the nature of creativity and innovation in Britain and the Empire in the nineteenth century, in collaboration with a design engineer.

Publications and Grants



2015  Lachlan Grant of Ballachulish, 1871-1945 (co-edited with Ewen A. Cameron) (Birlinn, 2015).

2010  The Sutherland Estate, 1850-1920: aristocratic decline, estate management and land reform (Edinburgh University Press, June 2010).

Forthcoming books

2016  Design and Communication within the British Empire, 1830 – 1914(with Andrew Wodehouse), Palgrave (Pivot series). Expected publication date: November 2016.

Innovative interdisciplinary study of how design acted as a form of communication within and across Britain and its empire, utilising new theoretical frameworks and detailed archival case studies.

2020   Ireland, Empire and Governance: the life and times of Lord Dufferin, 1826-1902, in progress. Expected publication date: 2019/2020.

Important, large-scale thematic study of the nature and extent of aristocratic power in the nineteenth century in Ireland, Britain and the empire, via the life and career of Frederick Temple Blackwood, first marquess of Dufferin and Ava. Dufferin was a relatively minor Ulster landowner who inherited during the Great Irish Famine, struggled with debt and land sales, and was one of the most influential imperial governors and diplomats of the late nineteenth century. This monograph explores themes such as property, the will to rule, ornamentalism, connections and circuits of empire, land ownership, management and reform, and the nature of aristocratic governance.

Journal articles

2015  ‘The creation of Crofting Townships in Tiree,’ by E. R. Cregeen, edited by A. Tindley, Journal of Scottish Historical Studies, 35:2 (2015).

2014  ‘The Role of Social Networks in Agricultural Innovation: The Sutherland Reclamations and the Fowler Steam Plough, c.1855-c.1885’, co-authored with Andrew Wodehouse, Rural History, 25:2 (2014).

2014  ‘The River Helmsdale and Strath Ullie, c. 1780-c. 1820: a historical perspective of societal and environmental influences of land management’ Scottish Geographical Journal, 130:1 (2014) co-authored with Heather Haynes.

2014  ‘The River Helmsdale and Strath Ullie, c. 1830-c. 1220: a historical perspective of societal and environmental influences of river management’ Scottish Geographical Journal, 130:2 (2014) co-authored with Heather Haynes.

2012  'Turmoil among the Crofters: Evander McIver and the 'Highland Question', 1873-1903,' co-authored with Professor Eric Richards, Agricultural History Review 60:2 (2012), pp. 191-213.

2012  'Highland Estate Management and Mapping: Holdings at Golspie, Sutherland, c.1870-c.1920', co-authored with Dr Carolyn Anderson, Scottish Archives, 18 (2012), pp. 26-44.

2012  'After the Clearances: Evander McIver and the 'Highland Question', 1835-73', co-authored with Professor Eric Richards, Rural History, 23 (2012), pp. 41-57.

2012  'They sow the wind, they reap the whirlwind:' estate management in the post-clearance Highlands, c. 1815-c. 1900', Northern Scotland, 3(May 2012), pp. 66-85.

2011  'Actual pinching and suffering:' estate responses to poverty in Sutherland, 1845-1886,' Scottish Historical Review,90 (2011), pp. 236-256.

2010  'The system of landlordism supreme:' David Lloyd George, the 5th Duke of Sutherland and Highland land sales, 1898-1919,' British Scholar,vol. 3 (2010), pp. 24-43.

2009  'The Iron Duke:' land reclamation and public relations in Sutherland, 1868 – 1895,' Historical Research, vol. 82, No. 216 (2009), pp. 303-319.

2008  'The Sword of Avenging Justice:' Politics in Sutherland after the Third Reform Act', Rural History, 19:2 (2008), pp. 179-199.

2007  'Who Owns History: Archivists or Users? The Sutherland Estates Papers: a case study,' Scottish Archives, 13 (2007), co-written with Olive Geddes, (National Library of Scotland).


January 2016 (as PI), Scottish Universities Insight Institute knowledge exchange award ' Re-writing the rulebook of landownership: analysing and assessing the economics of community landownership' (£20,000).

January 2015 (as CI) RSE Workshop Award ‘Landscapes and Lifescapes: linking the past rural development in the Scottish Highlands to its global context and its present-day legacies’ (£9,408).

January 2015 (as CI) Scottish Universities Insight Institute, ‘The Pinkie Resilience Project: Enhancing Equality, Boosting Well-Being and Realising Potential in Scottish Schools’ (£10,010).

March 2014 (as CI) AHRC Research Development Award (£48,000) ‘Design and innovation in the British Empire: a historical consideration of the innovation ecosystem.’

January 2014 (PI) British Academy/Leverhulme Trust Small grant scheme 2013 (£4200) for project: ‘Ireland, Empire and Governance: the life and times of Lord Dufferin, 1826-1902.’

June 2012   People Award, Wellcome Trust (£5,200) for public engagement project: 'The Dewar Commission and the Highlands and Islands Medical Service: 100 years of state health services.'

December 2011   Research expenses grant (£630) Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland for collaborative project: 'The socio-political drivers of technological innovation: lessons from Scottish agriculture, c.1860-1890.'

September 2011   Research expenses grant (£3,800) Royal Society of Edinburgh, for collaborative project: 'The Shaping of a Strath: the History of man-environment interaction between rivers and marginal communities.'

March 2011   Research expenses grant (£2,940), Royal Society of Edinburgh awarded for project: 'The aristocratic sinews of Empire: Imperial land reform, 1840-1895.'

December 2010   Research expenses grant (£3,600) from the Wellcome Trust awarded for project: 'Dr Lachlan Grant of Ballachulish: the unintended roles of the medical practitioner, 1871-1945.'

November 2010   Research expenses grant (£775) the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland for project: 'Highland estate management and mapping, c.1750-c.1920.'

December 2009   Research expenses grant (£2,150) the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland for project: 'Highland Estate Management, c.1750-c.1950.'

February 2008   Research Expenses Grant (£1,515) from the Wellcome Trust awarded for project: 'Health and health care in the Scottish Highlands, 1850-1950.'