Dovecote at Appleton-le-Street, 120m east of Whitefield Farm


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:


Ordnance survey map of Dovecote at Appleton-le-Street, 120m east of Whitefield Farm
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

North Yorkshire
Ryedale (District Authority)
Appleton-le-Street with Easthorpe
National Grid Reference:
SE 73785 73567

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 Appleton-le-Street survives well. Although it was re-roofed in the 1990s and the building has been refurbished over the years it still retains original elements. Significant evidence of medieval building techniques and the social and economic role of dovecotes will be preserved.


The monument includes a late medieval dovecote standing in a field 120m east of Whitefield Farm. From structural evidence the dovecote is believed to date to the 15th or 16th centuries and was part of the manorial complex at Appleton-le-Street. The dovecote, which is Listed Grade II, is almost square in plan, measuring 6.78m north to south by 6.6m east to west. The building has gable ends and a steep tiled roof, the ridge being 8.6m above ground level. It is built of small pieces of squared limestone rubble laid in rough courses. There is a band of moulded stones, known as a string course, extending around the building approximately 2.4m above the ground. On the north and east facades are small holes (now blocked) which were used for inserting scaffold poles during the erection of the building. There is a low plank door on the north side and a square opening above the string course on the two gable ends. Inside the dovecote the walls are lined with tiers of nesting boxes with a 140mm wide alighting ledge on each tier. The side walls have 13 tiers and the gable walls 21. With about 12 boxes per tier the dovecote would have housed some 900 nesting boxes. The centre of the floor of the building was packed clay whilst the foot of the walls was laid with rectangular flagstones.

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.

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Legacy System:


Books and journals
Addyman, T, Peers, A, Survey of the Dovecote at Appleton-le-Street, North Yorkshire, (1994)


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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