Dovecote at Home Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1019231

Date first listed: 18-Jul-2000


Ordnance survey map of Dovecote at Home Farm
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This copy shows the entry on 23-Jan-2019 at 13:49:24.


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

County: Cambridgeshire

District: South Cambridgeshire (District Authority)

Parish: Newton

National Grid Reference: TL 43555 49358


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 Home Farm is of an unusual type, and is rare in surviving as a complete standing structure in very good condition. Most internal and external features, including nest boxes, roof lantern and chute, have been preserved largely intact. As an important component of an 18th century farm complex it preserves valuable evidence for the way in which dovecotes functioned both economically and symbolically in agricultural establishments of this period.


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


The monument includes a dovecote situated at Home Farm, 200m north of St Margaret's Church. The dovecote, which is a Listed Building Grade II, dates from the 18th century and is part of a complex of farmbuildings, with which it is partly bonded. The remainder of the complex is not included in the scheduling.

The dovecote, which is situated on the north side of a sunken yard, is circular in plan and measures about 7m in diameter. The lower parts of the walls, to a height of about 1m, are constructed of brick; these parts are largely concealed on the external east, north and west sides of the building where the ground level is higher. This base supports the main body of the walls which is constructed of clunch (soft chalk blocks), plastered externally. The walls are additionally supported by an iron tie rod. The roof of the building, which is conical in shape, is tiled; at the apex is a gabled lantern with flight holes and an alighting ledge, providing access for birds to a flight platform and chute, constructed of wood, which are visible internally.

The dovecote is entered from the yard on the south by a modern wooden door. On the interior the lower, brick-built part of the walls, which is arcaded, is believed to have formerly supported a raised wooden floor. Above the arcading the walls are lined with nest boxes constructed of clay and daub; those on the south and west are believed to be original, while those on the east represent later replacements. The nest boxes on the north part of the wall no longer survive, and the wall is now plastered.

The modern wooden door, internal water troughs and feeding equipment are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them and/or the structures to which they are attached is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 22770

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing