Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

Dovecote at Little Blackford

A Scheduled Monument in Selworthy, Somerset

We don't have any photos of this monument yet. Why don't you be the first to send us one?

Upload Photo »

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »

If Google Street View is available, the image is from the best available vantage point looking, if possible, towards the location of the monument. Where it is not available, the satellite view is shown instead.


Latitude: 51.1966 / 51°11'47"N

Longitude: -3.5402 / 3°32'24"W

OS Eastings: 292474.7

OS Northings: 145284.010477

OS Grid: SS924452

Mapcode National: GBR LF.4YRV

Mapcode Global: VH5K3.L680

Entry Name: Dovecote at Little Blackford

Scheduled Date: 4 April 1949

Last Amended: 3 September 2002

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020774

English Heritage Legacy ID: 35322

County: Somerset

Civil Parish: Selworthy

Traditional County: Somerset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Somerset


The monument includes a dovecote located in the grounds of Little Blackford
to the south east of Selworthy. The dovecote dates from the late medieval
period and stands in the grounds of the former Blackford Manor which was
destroyed by fire in 1875. It is circular in plan and constructed of coursed
random-rubble walls, up to 1.2m thick and about 5m high, topped with a conical
stone tiled roof which rises to a circular opening. The overall height of the
structure is 7.6m. Entrance into the dovecote is through a wooden framed
doorway, 2m high and 2.5m wide, topped with a plain heavy wood lintel, and
hung with a vertically planked door. The interior is 5.7m in diameter with
walls lined to eaves level with 11 tiers of irregularly spaced nest holes.
The late medieval dovecote is constructed in a style characteristic of the
15th century and formed part of the Blackford Manor which belonged to the
Lovel family in the 13th century. It is believed that the original manor house
was constructed by Hugh, Earl of Chester, a nephew of William the Conqueror.
The dovecote is Listed Grade II*.
The public information display board together with all fencing and fence posts
are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features
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 Little Blackford survives well and retains its original
features both externally (such as its unusual style of roof of which there
are few surviving examples) and internally where all the original nesting
holes are intact. The dovecote also has historical associations, having
belonged to a manorial estate said to have been built by Hugh, Earl of Chester
and nephew of William the Conqueror.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Hancock, P, The Parish of Selworthy, (1897), 26-7
Blackford Farm, Selworthy, MPP Dovecote Assessment,

Source: Historic England

Other nearby scheduled monuments is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact for any queries related to any individual ancient or schedued monument, planning permission related to scheduled monuments or the scheduling process itself. is a Good Stuff website.