Dovecote at Biddestone Manor


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018614

Date first listed: 15-Feb-1999


Ordnance survey map of Dovecote at Biddestone Manor
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This copy shows the entry on 14-Dec-2018 at 09:44:35.


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

District: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Biddestone

National Grid Reference: ST 86715 73337


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 at Biddlestone Manor survives well and is a good example of a rectangular dovecote which carries on the traditions of those built in the medieval period. It has retained many of its original features and is still used by doves.


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


The monument includes a dovecote, situated 30m east of Biddestone Manor on the south side of the village of Biddestone situated on low lying cornbrash to the east of the Cotswold limestone. The dovecote is square 6m by 6m and 8m high. It is joined by a rectangular stable block of the same height with which it shares a roof. The building is built of local stone with Bath stone quoining and has a stone slate roof. The north gable wall of the dovecote has been removed to expose 20 rows of nesting boxes. There is a small arched Tudor doorway in the west wall and a rectangular barred window. In the west wall, a larger modern arched doorway has been inserted adjacent to a small hatch. The interior of the dovecote is lined with simple limewashed nesting boxes on all four walls and there is a wooden floor at a height of 6m. Adjacent to the north wall, a large modern cage has been built to contain doves which still nest inside it. The dovecote dates from the 15th or 16th century and is Listed Grade II. The stable block including the roof directly above it are not not included in the scheduling, although the ground beneath where it impinges on the dovecote's protective margin, 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: 31661

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing