Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Dovecote 250m north west of Barnby Hall

A Scheduled Monument in Barnby in the Willows, Nottinghamshire

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Latitude: 53.0616 / 53°3'41"N

Longitude: -0.719 / 0°43'8"W

OS Eastings: 485942.91033

OS Northings: 352356.6256

OS Grid: SK859523

Mapcode National: GBR CLY.51F

Mapcode Global: WHFHQ.X9SS

Entry Name: Dovecote 250m north west of Barnby Hall

Scheduled Date: 7 July 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016791

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29951

County: Nottinghamshire

Civil Parish: Barnby in the Willows

Traditional County: Nottinghamshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Nottinghamshire

Church of England Parish: Barnby-in-the-Willows

Church of England Diocese: Southwell and Nottingham


The monument includes the standing and below ground remains of a late medieval
dovecote, which stands to the rear of Dovecote Farm. The dovecote, which is
Listed Grade II, is circular in plan, is constructed of stone rubble
surmounted by a row of bricks, and measures approximately 19.2m in
circumference and 4.6m high. The roof is conical in shape and tiled, and there
is a doorway with a wooden lintel in the north west side which is the only
opening in the lower level of the dovecote. A stone ledge runs around the
building just below the eaves and a series of pigeon holes are situated just
above this on the south side of the dovecote.
The interior is lined with nest boxes, although on the north side some of
these are now missing. There are two phases of nest box building evident in
the dovecote, the earliest being of stone with stone flight ledges beneath
each box. Later repairs were made in brick and pantile, with the nest boxes
being much more simple in design and situated closer together. A floor,
spreading approximately half way across the dovecote, has been inserted. The
nest boxes have been used to support the joists which in turn support the
A farm building which abuts the dovecote on its northern side, where it falls
within the dovecote's protective margin, is excluded from the scheduling,
although the ground beneath is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 1 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Dovecotes are specialised structures designed for the breeding and keeping of
doves as a source of food and as a symbol of high social status. Most
surviving examples were built in the period between the 14th and the 17th
centuries, although both earlier and later examples are documented. They were
generally freestanding structures, square or circular in plan and normally of
brick or stone, with nesting boxes built into the internal wall. They were
frequently sited at manor houses or monasteries. Whilst a relatively common
monument class (1500 examples are estimated to survive out of an original
population of c.25,000), most will be considered to be of national interest,
although the majority will be listed rather than scheduled. They are also
generally regarded as an important component of local distinctiveness and

The standing and buried remains of the dovecote 250m north west of Barnby Hall
are well preserved. The building retains two phases of nest box design and
construction, using two different types of material. The interior,
particularly the nesting boxes, the old ground surface beneath the dovecote
and any sub-surface features will all retain important archaeological,
ecological and environmental evidence. Taken as a whole, the dovecote 250m
north west of Barnby Hall will enhance our understanding of the construction
and use of dovecotes in the area and their position in the wider landscape.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Severn, J, Dovecotes of Nottinghamshire, (1986), 8

Source: Historic England

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