Dovecote 90m south of Hall Farm


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


Ordnance survey map of Dovecote 90m south of Hall Farm
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Wakefield (Metropolitan Authority)
National Grid Reference:

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 standing and buried remains of Sharlston dovecote, 90m south of Hall Farm, are particularly well preserved. Dovecotes of this date and quality are very rare in this part of the country. The interior, particularly the nesting boxes, the old ground surface beneath the dovecote and any sub-surface features will all retain important archaeological, ecological and environmental evidence. Internal and external walls and the roof all hold structutral evidence about how the dovecote was constructed and used.


The monument includes the standing and below ground remains of Sharlston Hall dovecote. The dovecote stands in isolation in a ploughed field which slopes gently to the east. Almost 8m square in plan, the dovecote, which is Listed Grade II,is constructed of sandstone with a stone slate pyramidal roof. It is a single storey building with an off-set doorway on the northern side. The doorway has a plain surround with a recessed rectangular panel over the lintel. High up in the centre of each side is a small rectangular opening or flight hole through which pigeons could enter the dovecote. Externally, and running around the building at approximately mid-height, is a rat ledge which would have prevented rats from being able to reach the flight holes and entering the dovecote. Inside the dovecote the walls are lined with several hundred stone built nest boxes with individual stone flight ledges under each box. The dovecote is the only one of two to survive at Sharlston Hall. It is very similar stylistically, though smaller, to the now demolished example at Home Farm, Nostell Priory, approximately 3km to the east. The date 1771 A D which is scratched onto one of the quoins, is likely to refer to repairs to the building or may have been inscribed as graffiti in the 18th century. The dovecote is believed to be pre-Reformation in date and possibly as early as the late 15th century.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 1 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:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
'British Dovecote Society Record' in Sharleston Hall Dovecote, ()
West Yorks. Hist. Buildings Officer, Thornbarrow, Peter , Sharleston Hall Dovecote,


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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