Dovecote at Great Eccleston, 150m north east of Gradwells
- Heritage Category:
- Scheduled Monument
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
- Date of most recent amendment:
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This copy shows the entry on 22-Jul-2019 at 21:21:33.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- Wyre (District Authority)
- Great Eccleston
- National Grid Reference:
- SD 42576 40045
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
Despite some disturbance to the monument's nest boxes caused by later modifications, the dovecote at Great Eccleston 150m north east of Gradwells survives reasonably well and remains a good example of this class of monument. It is a rare survival in Lancashire of a brick-built 17th century dovecote.
The monument includes a 17th century brick-built slate-roofed dovecote
surmounted by a later wooden square cupola or lantern. It is located in a
field to the south west of Great Eccleston village 150m north east of
Gradwells. The dovecote measures 4.7m square with a door on the north east
side and a window above. Both door and window have arched lintels of vertical
bricks and the doorway has jambs of rounded brick edges with inset dressed
stone blocks for the door hinges and catch. Traces of an external string
course survive, formed of a double course of brick tiles projecting from the
walls about halfway up. This is said to be a `rat course' designed to prevent
rats and other predators climbing the vertical walls and entering via the
flight holes which would have been located in the lantern on top of the roof.
This string course would have also functioned as a sunning ledge and perch for
the doves. Internally there are ten rows of brick nest boxes each originally
having nine boxes to each row. However, later modifications to the dovecote
have disturbed a small number of these nest boxes. The dovecote is a Grade II
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:
- Legacy System:
LB No. 281/5/10001, DOE, List of Buildings of Historical & Architectural Importance, (1998)
OAU MPP Dovecote Assessment, Oxford Archaeological Unit, Dovecote, Great Eccleston, (1998)
SMR No. 3693, Lancashire SMR, Great Eccleston Dovecot, (1998)
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