Moses Jenkins is currently undertaking PhD research part time whilst also working as Senior Technical Officer with Historic Scotland who are funding the research. The focus of the research is on traditionally constructed brickwork in Scotland.
The prevailing attitude amongst architectural historians and, indeed, many practitioners is that Scotland has little heritage in the use of brick and as such the material has been grossly under studied in a Scottish context. More has been written on turf buildings than on brick despite far fewer surviving to the present day. It is this deficiency in knowledge and appreciation that the PhD seeks to redress.
The title of the research being undertaken is The Technical Development of Scottish Brickwork, 1700-1900. It examines the changing use of fired clay bricks during that time by examining how various individual aspects of brickwork have changed and how the applications to which the material have been put have likewise developed. Five hypotheses have been advanced which the research seeks to prove:
- The use of brick was significantly more widespread both geographically and in the uses to which it was put in Scotland than has previously been acknowledged.
- Scotland developed craft practices different to those common in other parts of Britain
- Scottish brickwork underwent considerable technical development in the years 1700 to 1900.
- The use of brick in Scotland was strongly influenced by methods and materials used in brick manufacture
- Brick has been used in Scotland in a purely functional way and building practices have reflected this.
Whilst evidence in support or otherwise of these hypotheses will be drawn from documentary, written and photographic sources, the evidence will be underpinned by survey of surviving structures. This will ensure that the conclusions presented will be firmly grounded in evidence from real structures. By so doing, the research will help to provide a greater appreciation of the diversity and sophistication of the use of brick in Scotland and ensure brick is considered an integral part of Scotland’s building traditions.