The doocots of Moray: a holistic approach to their evolutionary development.
Brown, Nicholas A.
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This study concerns a particular building type; the doocot. Consequently the work has an architectural bias. In stark contrast to large-scale, 'high culture', urban buildings erected for human occupation, the mere doocot has been mostly omitted from inclusion in architectural studies, Scotland especially having the ignominious claim to a dearth of published material on doocots. As a consequence, our ability to comprehend, interpret, evaluate and, where required, conserve doocots is inadequate. This study shows that the doocot has had a long history and, for the first time, it is placed in an overall, international, national, regional and local context. Many historic doocots are redundant and, due to their difficulty to convert or revitalise, some will be lost. The study, therefore, addresses the urgency for action and takes the opportunity to critically review key issues, establish a model for recording, and also test and analyse existing theories whilst the buildings still remain. In the course of the study, a unique methodology is applied. Firstly, an holistic approach (involving matters relating, not only to architecture, but also to history and ornithology) is taken at every step. Secondly, an extensive catalogue raisonne (a detailed building inventory covering a defined geographical area) is utilised as test-bed material for widely recognised theories. Aside from producing transferable models for the researching, or recording, of doocots, the study is able to substantiate and/or refute a variety of theories and also rationalise the issues into a coherent pattern of evolutionary development