Scottish Fact of the Day: Lang Scots Mile

Before the standardisation of weights and measures was introduced, measurements were somewhat variable.

Up until the 1700s, a ‘mile’ in Scotland could be of varying distance - but, it seems, always longer than an English mile. A Scots mile was believed to average 1,984 yards, or 5,952 feet (or 1,814 metres in ‘new’ money!), whilst the English mile was around 200 yards shorter at 1,760 yards. The Union of Parliaments in 1701 saw the English measurement being introduced in Scotland, although it wasn’t until the end of the century that the Lang Scots Mile was entirely replaced. Thanks in part to its historical links with Robert Burns (who mentioned the Lang Scots Mile in his poem Tam O’Shanter), South Ayrshire Council created a modern ‘Lang Scots Mile’ on the seafront in Ayr, in 2002.

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