Simpson & Brown Architects with Addyman Archaeology


Simpson & Brown were commissioned by the Crail Preservation Society to restore the Priory Doocot, a category A listed 16th century beehive-shaped doocot located near the sea shore. All three disciplines of Simpson & Brown were involved in this project.The repair and restoration work consisted of the careful removal of the cementitious render followed by a condition assessment of the underlying masonry. Non-original saddle stones on the ‘saddle and trough’ sandstone roof were replaced and a new slate detail introduced where the original saddle stones no longer provided sufficient cover to protect the harl below. A hotlime mortar was used to harl the doocot and it was finished with five coats of lime wash. The re-application of traditional materials allows the structure to breathe, as intended, for the first time since 1962 when the cementitious render was first applied. 

Internally, the revolving ladder (potence) was reinstated based on evidence gathered by Addyman Archaeology during archaeological excavations, combined with research carried out by our heritage team. Automated access control and lighting were introduced, along with a new metal grid floor to improve accessibility and make it safer for visitors. Our heritage team designed internal and external interpretation boards and the sound of 'doos' can be heard fluttering on entering the doocot, further enhancing the visitor experience. The Priory Doocot was formally opened by the Lord Lyon King of Arms in May 2019 and is now one of the many highlights along the Fife Coastal Path.

Project name: Priory Doocot
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