Ancient Monuments

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Dovecote at Appleton-le-Street, 120m east of Whitefield Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Appleton-le-Street with Easthorpe, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.1526 / 54°9'9"N

Longitude: -0.8717 / 0°52'18"W

OS Eastings: 473784.514279

OS Northings: 473566.699578

OS Grid: SE737735

Mapcode National: GBR QNCF.24

Mapcode Global: WHFB7.LW3D

Entry Name: Dovecote at Appleton-le-Street, 120m east of Whitefield Farm

Scheduled Date: 18 June 1951

Last Amended: 16 July 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018713

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31345

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Appleton-le-Street with Easthorpe

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Amotherby St Helen

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes a late medieval dovecote standing in a field
120m east of Whitefield Farm. From structural evidence the dovecote is
believed to date to the 15th or 16th centuries and was part of the manorial
complex at Appleton-le-Street. The dovecote, which is Listed Grade II, is
almost square in plan, measuring 6.78m north to south by 6.6m east to west.
The building has gable ends and a steep tiled roof, the ridge being 8.6m
above ground level. It is built of small pieces of squared limestone rubble
laid in rough courses. There is a band of moulded stones, known as a string
course, extending around the building approximately 2.4m above the ground. On
the north and east facades are small holes (now blocked) which were used for
inserting scaffold poles during the erection of the building. There is a low
plank door on the north side and a square opening above the string course on
the two gable ends. Inside the dovecote the walls are lined with tiers of
nesting boxes with a 140mm wide alighting ledge on each tier. The side walls
have 13 tiers and the gable walls 21. With about 12 boxes per tier the
dovecote would have housed some 900 nesting boxes. The centre of the floor of
the building was packed clay whilst the foot of the walls was laid with
rectangular flagstones.

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 Appleton-le-Street survives well. Although it was re-roofed
in the 1990s and the building has been refurbished over the years it still
retains original elements. Significant evidence of medieval building
techniques and the social and economic role of dovecotes will be preserved.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Addyman, T, Peers, A, Survey of the Dovecote at Appleton-le-Street, North Yorkshire, (1994)

Source: Historic England

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