Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Dovecote at Manor Farm, Draycot Cerne

A Scheduled Monument in Sutton Benger, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.5027 / 51°30'9"N

Longitude: -2.1041 / 2°6'14"W

OS Eastings: 392869.546808

OS Northings: 178196.839898

OS Grid: ST928781

Mapcode National: GBR 2RY.NW6

Mapcode Global: VH965.HH0D

Entry Name: Dovecote at Manor Farm, Draycot Cerne

Scheduled Date: 15 February 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018432

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31662

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Sutton Benger

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: Kington Langley and Draycot Cerne

Church of England Diocese: Bristol


The monument includes an 18th century dovecote situated in the garden of Manor
Farm in Draycot Cerne.
The dovecote, which is listed Grade II, is set into the garden wall 20m south
of the house. It is square in plan 3m by 3m and 6m high including the roof. It
is of roughcast rubblestone construction coated with lime render and there are
large ashlar quoins and a hipped stone tiled roof surmounted by a modern
lantern. The building is divided by a wooden floor below which is a privy with
wooden seat situated over a small culvert. The door to the privy is towards
the east of the north wall. It has a stone lintel and is slightly sunken to
reach the level of the privy which is below that of the present garden.
The upper storey houses the dovecote. The south east and west walls are lined
with nesting boxes constructed from ashlar blocks resting on stone ledges.
They are coated with lime wash. There is a tall doorway in the west wall, the
base of which is 1m above the present ground level suggesting that there were
formerly steps or a ladder.
Modern boundary features which abut the dovecote and fall within its
protective margin are 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 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

The dovecote at Manor Farm, Draycot Cerne, survives comparatively well and
retains many of its original features. It is particularly unusual in that it
is situated over a privy which still has internal fittings.

Source: Historic England

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