Dovecote 150yds (140m) NE of Lepers' Hospital


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Northumberland (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
NU 18176 34825


Dovecote, 360m ESE of Church of St Aidan.

Reasons for Designation

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 character.

The original fabric of the dovecote 360m ESE of the Church of St Aidan is substantially intact and it is a good example of a tun-bellied dovecote, which is a form characteristic of the broader region. The monument provides information on the keeping of doves as a source of food, an important practice during the late medieval and early post-medieval periods.


See Details.


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 16 May 2016. This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.

The monument includes a dovecote of 16th-17th century date, situated on level ground immediately south east of Bamburgh and close to the coast which lies to the north east. The dovecote is of tun-bellied type and is beehive-shaped. It has a diameter of 6.7m at its base and is approximately 5.5m high with walls 1.2m thick at ground level. The dovecote is constructed from rubble masonry and there is a low square-headed doorway on the south east side and three windows on the south side, which are later insertions. The building houses approximately 250 nesting boxes in its interior laid out in 13 rows of recesses. Part of the original roof, consisting of stone slabs, is preserved. The outer wall contains three string courses of stone slabs, which project out from the wall. The dovecote is of a type with limited distribution, but which is also found in south east Scotland, North Yorkshire and County Durham.

The dovecote is a listed building Grade II*.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
ND 116
Legacy System:


PastScape Monument No:- 517024


This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

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