Ancient Monuments

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Dovecote at Biddestone Manor

A Scheduled Monument in Biddestone, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.4589 / 51°27'31"N

Longitude: -2.1926 / 2°11'33"W

OS Eastings: 386715.378724

OS Northings: 173337.423114

OS Grid: ST867733

Mapcode National: GBR 1R2.JGS

Mapcode Global: VH969.YL7H

Entry Name: Dovecote at Biddestone Manor

Scheduled Date: 15 February 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018614

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31661

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Biddestone

Built-Up Area: Biddestone

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: By Brook

Church of England Diocese: Bristol


The monument includes a dovecote, situated 30m east of Biddestone Manor on the
south side of the village of Biddestone situated on low lying cornbrash to the
east of the Cotswold limestone.
The dovecote is square 6m by 6m and 8m high. It is joined by a rectangular
stable block of the same height with which it shares a roof. The building is
built of local stone with Bath stone quoining and has a stone slate roof.
The north gable wall of the dovecote has been removed to expose 20 rows of
nesting boxes. There is a small arched Tudor doorway in the west wall and a
rectangular barred window. In the west wall, a larger modern arched doorway
has been inserted adjacent to a small hatch. The interior of the dovecote is
lined with simple limewashed nesting boxes on all four walls and there is a
wooden floor at a height of 6m. Adjacent to the north wall, a large modern
cage has been built to contain doves which still nest inside it. The dovecote
dates from the 15th or 16th century and is Listed Grade II.
The stable block including the roof directly above it are not not included in
the scheduling, although the ground beneath where it impinges on the
dovecote's protective margin, 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 Biddlestone Manor survives well and is a good example of a
rectangular dovecote which carries on the traditions of those built in the
medieval period. It has retained many of its original features and is still
used by doves.

Source: Historic England

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