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Dovecote at Rousham House

A Scheduled Monument in Rousham, Oxfordshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.9142 / 51°54'50"N

Longitude: -1.3044 / 1°18'15"W

OS Eastings: 447941.041476

OS Northings: 224187.771969

OS Grid: SP479241

Mapcode National: GBR 7VM.T7G

Mapcode Global: VHCX1.B4RY

Entry Name: Dovecote at Rousham House

Scheduled Date: 14 March 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017324

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30846

County: Oxfordshire

Civil Parish: Rousham

Traditional County: Oxfordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Oxfordshire

Church of England Parish: Rousham

Church of England Diocese: Oxford

Details

The monument includes a 17th century dovecote (dated 1685), situated in a
walled garden in the grounds of Rousham House.
The dovecote, which is Listed Grade II*, is circular in plan and is built of
coursed limestone. Internally it still contains its ladder and a central
platform on which its potence sits. This whole structure pivots around the
interior of the building to allow access to the nest boxes. The boxes (744),
themselves are built into the walls, and there is an alighting ledge below
every other tier of nest boxes.
The roof is conical with two good examples of wooden dormer windows and a
decorative white, wooden cupula at its top. The dovecote lies in the later
park planned by William Kent which was designed around it.

MAP EXTRACT
The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 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
character.

The dovecote at Rousham House survives well and unusually retains all the main
components of its internal furniture which increases its archaeological
integrity and value. In addition the dovecote is a good example of its class,
form and date. Its fitness for the purpose originally intended is demonstrated
by the fact that it is still used by pigeons.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Hansell, P, Hansell, J, Doves and Dovecotes, (1988), 87,91,8
Other
OXFORDSHIRE 2, O.A.U., MPP Dovecote Assessment, (1997)

Source: Historic England

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