Dovecote 85m north of Potters Marston Hall


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1016792

Date first listed: 19-Mar-1999


Ordnance survey map of Dovecote 85m north of Potters Marston Hall
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This copy shows the entry on 19-Dec-2018 at 15:37:19.


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

County: Leicestershire

District: Blaby (District Authority)

Parish: Potters Marston

National Grid Reference: SP 49732 96377


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

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 dovecote 85m north of Potters Marston Hall represents an extremely rare survival in Leicestershire of a medieval dovecote situated in close association with a manorial site. The dovecote has been subject to little disturbance or major alterations, with the result that it retains most of its internal fixtures. It is also likely that archaeological deposits relating to the earlier use of the site will be preserved beneath it. The survival of contemporary documents relating to the dovecote enhances our understanding of the monument.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


The monument includes a dovecote situated 85m north of Potters Marston Hall. The dovecote, which is Listed Grade II, is of medieval and later date and consists of a square tower measuring approximately 4.8m in width and 6m in height. The external walls are constructed on a rubble plinth and are comprised of uncoursed granite rubble and dressed granite with later alterations and repairs in brick and slate. A continuous stone perching ledge is set at a height of 3m, above which on the eastern, western and southern sides are windows approximately 0.75m square. Those on the east and west have segmental brick heads or lintels and have been bricked up. The western window also has a single diagonally set wooden mullion. The southern window has a wooden frame and a splayed brick head and is unblocked. Access to the dovecote is provided by a door set into the base of the eastern wall. The doorway is approximately 1.5m in height and 0.8m in width with a later segmental brick head. The pyramidal roof is constructed of Swithland slate, with a square glover at its apex through which the birds would have entered. The dovecote has an internal brick wall, into which approximately 700 bottled-shaped nesting boxes are recessed. Many retain their individual alighting steps which consist of bricks projecting longitudinally from their base.

The dovecote is situated immediately south of the site of a moat which originally enclosed the medieval manor house and chapel. The moat has since been infilled but the chapel and manor house, now Potters Marston Hall, still survive with extensive rebuilding. The construction of the dovecote suggests that it was probably contemporary with the earliest surviving sections of the hall, which have been dated to the late 15th or early 16th centuries and use identical materials. The first documentary reference to the dovecote is contained within an Inquisition Post Mortem of 1616 concerning property bequeathed by John Plumbe. The settlement associated with the manorial site at Potters Marston, named as Mersitone in the Domesday survey of 1086, was already depopulated by the start of the 15th century through enclosure.

All fences and the surfaces of all modern pathways are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features is included.

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: 30254

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Farnham, G F, 'Transactions of the Leics Archaeological and Historical Society' in Potters Marston Hall: Some Notes On The Manor, , Vol. 12, (1922)
Leicestershire County Council, 49 NE.A - Potters Marston,
Listed Building Report SP 49 NE - 1/29, (1952)
Oxford Archaeological Unit, MPP Dovecote Assessment, (1995)

End of official listing