Dovecote 50m north east of Manor Farm House


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018904

Date first listed: 24-Sep-1999


Ordnance survey map of Dovecote 50m north east of Manor Farm House
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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This copy shows the entry on 17-Dec-2018 at 02:39:09.


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

County: Cambridgeshire

District: South Cambridgeshire (District Authority)

Parish: Toft

National Grid Reference: TL 36186 56210


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 Toft is a complete standing structure surviving in good condition. It is rare in that both internal and external features, including nest boxes of unusual type, have survived largely intact. The platform upon which the dovecote stands will include archaeological deposits relating to its construction and use which, together with the building itself, will preserve valuable evidence for the way in which dovecotes functioned both economically and symbolically in the post-medieval period.


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


The monument includes a dovecote situated 50m north east of Manor Farm House. The dovecote is thought to date from the late 17th or early 18th century.

The dovecote, which is Grade II Listed, takes the form of a brick and timber- framed structure, 6m square in plan, with a tiled roof. Resting on a level platform, the lower part of the walls is of brick construction and stands to a height of about 1.3m, including a shallow plinth. The upper part of the walls, up to a height of about 3.5m, is timber-framed and weatherboarded. In the middle of the west wall is a halved wooden doorway and a louvred vent. On the interior of the building, fixed to the timber frame above the brick structure, is an extensive series of nest boxes constructed of clay bat and tile. The nest boxes, which have arched openings and are whitewashed, are largely intact on three sides but have been removed from the north wall. A square flight hole, lined with vertical boards to prevent use by birds of prey, is positioned in the centre of the roof and is covered by a gablet. The roof and gablet are tiled, and together reach a height of over 4m.

The shed which stands outside the north wall of the building, and the modern brick plinth inside the north wall, 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 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: 22756

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing