Dovecote at Burnt House Farm


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


Ordnance survey map of Dovecote at Burnt House Farm
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2019. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1018874 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 23-Oct-2019 at 05:40:06.


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

Canterbury (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
TR 10712 55308

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 Burnt House Farm is a good example of a rare 18th century combined dovecote, and survives particularly well in mostly original condition. Its siting within a contemporary farmyard, in association with a group of similarly detailed buildings, provides evidence for the planned, ordered and decorative design of farm buildings advocated by 18th century agricultural writers.


The monument includes a dovecote situated within a farmyard on the northern edge of the village of Chartham, around 10km south west of Canterbury. The dovecote has been dated to the 18th century and is a tall, east-west aligned, rectangular building measuring around 8m by 4m. Cleverly designed as a decorative, multi-purpose farm building, the red brick dovecote is built on sloping ground. It has three storeys topped by a gabled, clay tiled roof. Architectural details include a mid-height string course, a decorative cornice, small triangular dormer windows and gable ends finished with coping and kneelers. The ground floor was originally used as a pig sty; the pigs provided warmth to help heat the two storeys above. The pigs entered the sty through two ground level round-arched openings from the lower ground to the south. The middle floor housed poultry and is lit by two square openings through the southern wall. These have vertical wooden bars designed to prevent the hens from escaping. Access to the hen house and the upper storey is through a central doorway through the northern wall, approached from the higher ground to the north. The dovecote occupies the top floor, with the doves gaining entry through small square openings in each gable end. Internally, the walls of the upper storey are lined with around 600 brick nest boxes, each provided with an offset landing stage. A wooden partition has been inserted here at a later date. The dovecote is Listed Grade II. Those parts of the farmyard walls which abut the western and eastern sides of the dovecote and which fall within its protective margin are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them 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:
Legacy System:


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

Your Contributions

Do you know more about this entry?

The following information has been contributed by users volunteering for our Enriching The List project. For small corrections to the List Entry please see our Minor Amendments procedure.

The information and images below are the opinion of the contributor, are not part of the official entry and do not represent the official position of Historic England. We have not checked that the contributions below are factually accurate. Please see our terms and conditions. If you wish to report an issue with a contribution or have a question please email [email protected].