Ancient Monuments

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Dovecote at Barholm Old Hall

A Scheduled Monument in Barholm and Stowe, Lincolnshire

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Latitude: 52.6831 / 52°40'59"N

Longitude: -0.391 / 0°23'27"W

OS Eastings: 508861.748756

OS Northings: 310705.871635

OS Grid: TF088107

Mapcode National: GBR GWT.PYL

Mapcode Global: WHGLR.YTYF

Entry Name: Dovecote at Barholm Old Hall

Scheduled Date: 4 February 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018683

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22743

County: Lincolnshire

Civil Parish: Barholm and Stowe

Traditional County: Lincolnshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lincolnshire

Church of England Parish: Barholme St Martin

Church of England Diocese: Lincoln


The monument includes a dovecote situated at Barholm Old Hall. The hall is a
17th century manor house incorporating remains of a medieval building but is
not included in the scheduling. The dovecote, which stands on the east side of
the hall, dates from the 17th century and is also Listed Grade II*.

The dovecote takes the form of a rectangular stone building aligned with the
hall east-west. The walls are constructed of coursed, roughly-dressed
limestone with large dressed stone quoins. On the ridge of the roof, which is
tiled, there are two louvred turrets providing access for birds. In the west
gable wall is a small wooden door which provided access for the keeper; the
jambs and lintel of the doorway are constructed of large dressed stone blocks.
In each gable there is a stone two-light mullioned window with a horizontal
hoodmould, and the angles of the gables are each decorated with a small stone

On the interior of the dovecote the walls are lined with the original stone
nest boxes, arranged in tiers, each tier having a continuous alighting ledge.
There are approximately 1500 nest boxes in all. Those in the east gable have
been rebuilt at a later date in brick. At the centre of the interior is a
raised stone table which would have provided a surface for food, water and
salt, or was used to support a central pole (potence) against which ladders
would have rested during the collection of eggs and birds.

The later stone outbuilding constructed against the east wall of the dovecote
where it falls within the monument's protective margin is excluded from the
scheduling although the ground beneath it 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 dovecote at Barholm Old Hall is a complete standing structure surviving in
good condition. It is rare in that all internal and external features,
including nest boxes, roof turrets and other openings, have been preserved
largely intact. As an important component of a 17th century manorial complex,
it preserves valuable evidence for the way in which dovecotes functioned both
economically and symbolically in high-status establishments of this period.

Source: Historic England

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