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Collection C0225 - The Crofters Commission

Identity area

Reference code

GB 234 C0225


The Crofters Commission


  • 1955-2012 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

2.45 linear metres

Context area

Name of creator

Crofters Commission, 1955-2012 (1955-2012)

Administrative history

In 1883, the Government set up a Royal Commission to find out more about crofting. The Crofters Holdings (Scotland) Act 1886 which established rights for crofters was passed as a result. The Act gave crofters the rights to a reasonable rent, to pass their croft on to their families and if the crofter decided to give up the tenancy of his croft, the Act also stated that they would have to be paid for any improvements made to it. It also set up a Crofters Commission as a forerunner of the modern organisation, which administered the Crofters Acts until it was superseded by the Scottish Land Court in 1912 (under the Small Landholders (Scotland) Act 1911).

The present day Crofters Commission was reconstituted under the Crofters (Scotland) Act 1955 following on the recommendations of the Taylor Commission of Enquiry into crofting conditions in Scotland, to reorganise, develop and regulate crofting in the seven crofting counties of Scotland (Argyll, Caithness, Inverness, Ross and Cromarty, Sutherland, Orkney and Zetland). The Act restored the statutory meaning of a croft (roughly a holding of less than 50 acres in extent or with a rental of less than £50) and conferred on the Commission specific powers to control the reletting of crofts, to terminate the tenancies of absentee crofters, to authorise the granting of feus to aged and infirm crofters who wished to give up their land but to retain their houses, to frame and implement schemes of reorganisation of crofting Townships which had fallen into a state of disorganisation and decay, to supervise Common Grazings Regulations and the standards of husbandry on crofts, and to administer Schemes of Assistance and Grants for aiding and developing agricultural production on crofts. Under Section 2(2) of the Act, persons of good standing and with a knowledge of crofting conditions were appointed in Panels of Assessors for the Mainland and Island areas, to assist and advise the Commission in their dealings with crofters.

The Crofters (Scotland) Act 1993 repealed the 1955 Act, reconstituted the Commission, and makes the Commission responsible for overseeing legislation and for developing crofting. The Crofters Commission, whose nine members were to be appointed by the Secretary of State for Scotland, advises Scottish Ministers to ensure that the Government is aware of issues relating to crofting.

In 1 April 2012, the Commission was replaced by The Crofting Commission.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

CRO1 Board Minutes 1955-1998
CRO2 Annual Reports 1955-1993
CRO3 Papers including Letters to Assessors, reports of the Conference of Assessors, Commission Memoranda and other reports 1978-1989
CRO4 Grounds of Decision and Explanatory Notes 1964-1982

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Most of the papers open to access, but the Board Minutes are closed for 50 years from the date of the last paper on a file

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Paper records

Finding aids

Full catalogue available through National Records of Scotland online catalogue at catalogue reference C0225

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