Dovecote immediately west of Shenton Hall


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1017207

Date first listed: 29-Oct-1999


Ordnance survey map of Dovecote immediately west of Shenton Hall
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Leicestershire

District: Hinckley and Bosworth (District Authority)

Parish: Sutton Cheney

National Grid Reference: SK 38682 00290


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 immediately west of Shenton Hall represents a rare and impressive survival in Leicestershire. The dovecote is unusual architecturally in that it has four gables and is constructed of brick, most other four gabled examples being both much earlier in date and built of either stone or wood. Although built in the 18th century, documentary sources show that the dovecote's importance was not purely aesthetic and that it fulfilled an economic role throughout the 19th century, which is again unusual for such a late example. The dovecote has been subject to little disturbance or major alteration with the result that it retains most of its internal fixtures, whilst the survival of contemporary documents relating to its use will enhance understanding of the manner in which it functioned.


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


The monument includes a dovecote situated immediately west of Shenton Hall.

The dovecote, which is Listed Grade II*, is of 18th century and later date and consists of a square brick tower approximately 5.5m in width and 9m in height. The external walls rest on a rubble and brick plinth up to 1m in height and are divided into three equal parts by two brick string courses or perching ledges. Each of the walls has a steep gable, and the south eastern, south western and north western gables contain rectangular louvred windows set into their centres. A stone plaque in the north western wall carries a date of 1719. The roof of the dovecote is constructed of plain tile and has a glazed and leaded lantern at its apex.

Access to the dovecote is provided by a doorway in the eastern wall which has four steps leading up to it, constructed of brick. Internally the dovecote is lined with nesting boxes covering each wall from floor to ceiling. The walls are divided by vertical brick columns every two nesting boxes, and continuous alighting ledges of tile run under each tier. A brick column in the centre of the dovecote approximately 1.5m high and 2.5m square forms the base of a double potence which consists of a revolving central post with cross beams at its upper and lower extremities to which a pair of wooden ladders are affixed. All four vertical faces of the column contain nesting boxes identical in construction to those set into the walls, giving a total of approximately 1500 boxes in all.

Documentary sources indicate that the dovecote was constructed by the Wollaston family in 1719.

The modern surface of the farmyard, where this impinges on the area of the monument, is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath it 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: 30255

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Pevsner, N, Williamson, E, The Buildings of England: Leicestershire and Rutland, (1984)
Listing Entry - SK30 SE, 4/120, (1966)
OAU, MPP Dovecote Assessment, (1997)
Wollaston, FW, (1998)

End of official listing