Ancient Monuments

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Dovecote at Cresswell Home Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Cresswell, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.221 / 55°13'15"N

Longitude: -1.5373 / 1°32'14"W

OS Eastings: 429531.574827

OS Northings: 591962.476997

OS Grid: NZ295919

Mapcode National: GBR K8P2.Z6

Mapcode Global: WHC2M.C15B

Entry Name: Dovecote at Cresswell Home Farm

Scheduled Date: 11 February 2002

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020128

English Heritage Legacy ID: 32768

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Cresswell

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Cresswell and Lynemouth

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle


The monument includes a dovecote situated at Cresswell Home Farm, a planned
farm of 1830. The dovecote, a Listed Building Grade II, forms part of a small
group of buildings, including an engine house and a threshing barn, which are
attached to the rear of the north range of the farm. The rest of the farm
buildings, including the engine house and threshing barn, are also Listed
Buildings Grade II but are not included in the scheduling.
The dovecote is visible as a stone building 3.7 sq m and 11m high. Externally,
it is constructed in three stages and the stonework is ashlar faced. On all
four external faces there is a broad chamfered setback above the first stage
and projecting moulded stone bands above the upper two stages. On the third,
uppermost stage of the dovecote each face has a series of three pigeon
openings, above an alighting band, upon which the pigeons could perch. The
west face of the dovecote contains a doorway and a window through the wall of
the first stage and a window in the second stage. The north face has a door
and a window through the first stage; an external staircase, that is also
included in the scheduling, gives access to the latter door. All window and
door openings have raised and chamfered surrounds.
Within the dovecote at least 60 stone nesting boxes, visible as rectangular
recesses, are arranged around all four sides; the individual size of the nest
boxes vary but most are on average 0.34m high by 0.38m wide. In the south east
corner there is a 1 sq m stone chimney which rises through the dovecote,
almost to roof height. This chimney acted as flue from the former engine house
attached to the east side of the dovecote. Its location within the dovecote is
considered to be deliberate, with the aim of providing a heat source
throughout the year, thus enabling the doves to breed successfully during the
winter and provide a reliable source of winter food.
The stone wall of the adjacent engine house, which abuts the north wall of the
dovecote, is excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath it,
which falls within the monument's 1m protective margin, is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

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

Although the structure is roofless and some of the stonework at the south east
corner has deteriorated, the dovecote at Cresswell Home Farm forms a complete
standing structure, which as a whole survives well. Following a national
review of this class of monument in 1998, the dovecote is considered to be one
of only a few exceptional survivals in Northumberland. It is rare in that
external and internal features, including nest boxes, survive largely intact.
The dovecote thus retains valuable evidence for the manner of its use and
serves to illustrate part of the economy and lifestyle of the inhabitants of
the 19th century farm. The association between the dovecote and the engine
house is a very rare occurrence, and the fact that the chimney is designed to
run up through the dovecote enhances the importance of the monument.

Source: Historic England

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