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Title: The long term management of an eighteenth century Banffshire estate
Author: Arnett, T. C.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3428 8266
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1984
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Management decisions taken on one 80,000 acre estate over the course of a century, are examined to determine the extent to which architectural and other environmental improvements corresponded to a consistent strategic plan. Inconsistencies and departures are shown to be largely those of innovation prompted by wider social and economic forces, and to a lesser extent prompted by the personal whims and interests of successive owners. The specific strategic plan examined is that of the four generations of the Earldom of Findlater in Northeast Scotland. The selected period begins with relative impoverishment in 1707, and ends in 1793 with the transformation of the estate and the lives of the more than 6,000 people comprising it, into a prosperous condition through the creative force of technological and social innovations which were on balance deliberately and carefully imposed. Crucial decisions in this process were at first made by visionary proprietors, but authority, was later delegated to professional administrators and eventually to the larger community. Decisions have been firmly placed within the context of the larger world. Chapter two presents the evolution of national and regional conditions favorable to a spirit of improvement. Chapter three analyzes the estate's organization as though it were a contemporary corporate entity. Chapter four explores changing corporate attitudes towards innovation resulting in diversification of capital investment and in new architectural forms. Chapter Five examines the impact of innovative land use policies upon the 20,000 acres immediately surrounding the estate nucleus at Cullen. Chapters six and seven provide a detailed stylistic analysis of Cullen House as a corporate headquarters; the chapters are divided between the stylistic objectives achieved over a long term and those attempted by the last Earl. The effectiveness of the estate's long term management is evaluated within the final chapter. Although it will be argued that a strategic plan existed, it was not explicitly articulated as a document for public scrutiny, nor was it a conventional planning process. Much of the evidence of a strategic plan providing management continuity from one generation to the next is apparent only as assumed personal confidence between father and son, and husband and wife, unrecorded, but strongly inferred by the details of the estate records.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Historical land management