Migration Story

Come and learn how 1000 Scottish Highlanders arrived in Waipu in the 1850’s

Their Great Migration

The industrial revolution of the 18th century saw massive economic shifts throughout Europe which changed the nature of both land ownership and employment in many lands. This was especially the case in the Scottish Highlands where the crushing of the Jacobite rebellion at the Battle of Culloden had already destroyed much of the old Highland way of life.

Here things changed dramatically. The industrial production of wool and the discovery of a breed of sheep hardy enough to survive the bleak Highland conditions opened up the promise of huge profits for the Lairds and clan leaders. Their only hitch was that they had to remove their existing Highland populations to make way for the sheep. These changes ultimately caused a massive evacuation of the highland population.

Come to Waipu Museum and find out what happened to the Highlanders in the last years of the 18th century and the first half of the 19th century and how this state of affairs brought 1000 of them to Waipu!