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A History of the Native Woodlands of Scotland, 1500-1920$
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T.C. Smout and Alan R. MacDonald

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780748612413

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748612413.001.0001

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Trading and taking wood before 1800

Trading and taking wood before 1800

(p.124) Chapter 6 Trading and taking wood before 1800
A History of the Native Woodlands of Scotland, 1500-1920

T. C. Smout

Alan R. MacDonald

Fiona Watson

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter focuses on wood trading before 1800. Evidence from both documentary and archaeological sources shows that as international trade developed and Scottish supplies of good-quality oak became harder to find, timber was imported. In the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, it was most likely to be oak from the Hanseatic towns of the eastern Baltic such as Danzig or Stralsund, sometimes as beams, sometimes as boards known as ‘knappald’ or ‘knapholt’, or ‘wainscot’. From the early sixteenth century onwards, reference to much larger supplies from Norway, and, to a lesser extent, from western Sweden, become more and more frequent, following the spread of the German water-driven sawmill into Scandinavia. In the eighteenth century, as the Scottish economy developed, the pattern of timber imports underwent a considerable change. After 1750, imports of Norwegian deals, at mid-century accounting for three-quarters of the annual total of some 200,000 deals imported from Scandinavia, began to decline in relative importance.

Keywords:   wood, international trade, oak, imports, wood trading

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