Following the 1st World War the Board of Agriculture purchased lowland farms and subdivided them to create holdings for veterans and others. Each consisted of a field for crops or pasture on which a 1920s bungalow could be built. Generally located around urban fringes, holdings are irregular in shape and size, with dwellings usually sited at field edges. However, in some instances farmsteadings were divided amongst the smallholders to make homes, so no new houses had to be built.
With an increasing urban population, some holdings have been redeveloped for housing and other uses.
Farmland was sub-divided into numbered plots to make the Board of Agriculture holdings at Boggs in East Lothian. On current OS maps the plots may be noted as 'Holdings' and are sometimes numbered.