But and ben

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Derelict but and ben near Lochhill

But and ben is an architectural style for a simple building, usually applied to a residence. The term is most common in the Scots language, for a two-roomed cottage,[1][2] but also used by archaeologists to describe a basic design of "outer room" conjoined with "inner room" as a residential building plan. But and ben style construction was not uncommon in the ancient world and was used in the Bronze Age and earlier in locations such as Knossos and Magasa on Crete.[3]

The outer room, used as an antechamber or kitchen, is the but, while the inner room is the ben.

In popular culture[edit]

The Broons own a but and ben in the country where they take holidays. In 2008, Waverley Books published a But an' Ben Cookbook.

See also[edit]


Line notes[edit]

  1. ^ Robinson, Mairi (1985). The Concise Scots Dictionary. Aberdeen: Aberdeen University Press. p. 75. ISBN 0-08-028492-2. 
  2. ^ Ernest Ingersoll, 1906
  3. ^ C. Michael Hogan, 2007