Dovecote 125m north of Minster Lovell Hall
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1014554
Date first listed: 04-Jun-1952
Date of most recent amendment: 03-Jan-1997
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: West Oxfordshire (District Authority)
Parish: Minster Lovell
National Grid Reference: SP 32465 11445
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
The dovecote at Minster Lovell survives well and retains all its interior features. It is documented as being part of the farm complex associated with the adjacent manor and provides evidence for this part of the medieval agricultural economy.
The monument includes a 15th century dovecote, situated 125m north of the
remains of Minster Lovell Hall.
The dovecote is circular in plan and measures 6.2m across internally. Its
oolite stone walls are 1.2m thick and, including its stone slate roof, it
stands c.5.5m high. The interior walls contain 18 tiers of nest holes and
every row has a perching ledge. Of the 600 nesting holes, those in the bottom
tier have now been blocked.
The dovecote formed part of the economy of the adjacent farm which provided
for the needs of the manor to which they belonged. It is known that the
surviving manor and its associated buildings were built in the early 1400s by
William Lovell, the seventh baron of Tichmarsh. The site had already been home
to the family since at least AD 1100.
The dovecote, which is also a Listed Building Grade II*, is in the care of the
Secretary of State and is open to the public.
Excluded from the scheduling is the stone boundary wall which runs around the
dovecote and falls within its 2m protective margin, although the ground
beneath is included.
MAP EXTRACT 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.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: 21803
Legacy System: RSM
Books and journals
Taylor, A J, Minster Lovell Hall, (1992), 15
Taylor, A J, Minster Lovell Hall, (1992), 3
Old County Number OXON 8, ENGLISH HERITAGE, FILE AA 66263, (1993)
PRN 3175, C.A.O., Dovecote, (1993)
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