Cas-chrom or Foot Plough

Glencoe Folk Museum

This tall, curved wooden plough was designed for use on the difficult Highland terrain. Extra force could be applied using the foot, forcing the ploughing blade at the bottom into rocky or uneven ground.

Croft land was often poor and ploughing could help to improve the quality of the soil, including aerating it. Cas-chroms were also used to create ‘lazy beds’ or fiannegan – where an extra layer of turf was placed on top of one layer, sometimes with seaweed in between in order to deal with the problem of the turf’s thinness.

Occasionally, entire crofts would also be ploughed using a cas-chrom where horses were not available and would have been gruelling work, taking many months.

After ploughing, the field would be raked and planted, often with potatoes, carrots, turnips or oats. Potatoes tended to use less land than cereals for greater return and featured heavily in Highland diets.

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Date: 1800s
Materials : Wood
Size : 63cm x 30cm

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