Ancient Monuments

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Dovecote 250m south east of South Hill Farm, Aston Munslow

A Scheduled Monument in Munslow, Shropshire

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Latitude: 52.4761 / 52°28'34"N

Longitude: -2.7224 / 2°43'20"W

OS Eastings: 351031.116822

OS Northings: 286710.222

OS Grid: SO510867

Mapcode National: GBR BK.K4GV

Mapcode Global: VH83Q.R1N4

Entry Name: Dovecote 250m south east of South Hill Farm, Aston Munslow

Scheduled Date: 9 April 1981

Last Amended: 24 April 2002

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020657

English Heritage Legacy ID: 34917

County: Shropshire

Civil Parish: Munslow

Traditional County: Shropshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Shropshire

Church of England Parish: Munslow

Church of England Diocese: Hereford


The monument includes the standing structural and buried remains of a
dovecote, constructed on sloping ground 30m south of The White House, a 15th
century manor house, which was altered and enlarged between the 16th and 19th
centuries. The White House, a Listed Building Grade II*, may occupy the site
of an earlier medieval dwelling. The dovecote is very similar to the one at
the moated site at Thonglands about 4.75km to the north east, which is the
subject of a separate scheduling. Both of these circular stone-built dovecotes
were probably constructed in the 14th or 15th century.
The dovecote south of The White House is built of limestone bonded with a clay
lime mortar, and is set within a small depression. Its wall averages 1.3m wide
and encloses an area 4.8m in diameter. Externally, the stonework is roughly
coursed and has been partially repointed in modern times. Built into the
interior face of the wall are square nest holes. The limestone slab bases of
the nest holes, protrude about 0.1m to form ledges from where the birds
alighted. It is believed that originally the dovecote contained about 500 nest
holes. The southern half of the building stands just over 6m high, while the
northern half has collapsed and now survives to a height of 0.8m. Collapsed
rubble, about 1m deep, seals the remains of the internal floor and the base
for a centrally revolving ladder, or potence. To the north, and also filled
with collapsed masonry, are the remains of a doorway. The dovecote survived as
a roofed structure until about 1930. Limestone tiles, with peg holes, from the
roof of the dovecote have been used to edge the flower beds of the surrounding

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 250m south of South Hill Farm, Aston Munslow is a good example of
this class of monument. In addition to the extant structural remains, the
internal floor and the base for the potence are expected to survive well as
buried features. This dovecote, like the one nearby at Thonglands, is directly
associated with a large medieval house, indicating that doves were an
important source of food for these wealthy medieval households. Only a few
dovecotes dating to the medieval period are known to survive in Shropshire.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County of Shropshire: Volume X, (1998), 157
Stamper, P, The Farmer Feeds Us All, (1989), 18
The Whitehouse gardener, (2001)

Source: Historic England

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