Dovecote at Barton Court


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1019309

Date first listed: 07-Sep-2000


Ordnance survey map of Dovecote at Barton Court
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: County of Herefordshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Colwall

National Grid Reference: SO 74139 40894


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 Barton Court is a well-preserved example of a circular stone dovecote retaining its nest boxes and later roof structure.

The importance of this dovecote is enhanced by the relative rarity of its date, plan, and main building material. It is one of approximately 15 circular stone dovecotes in Herefordshire and Worcestershire, an area where the majority are considered to date from the 17th century or later and are mainly of timber frame or brick construction. Its position amongst later farm buildings gives an insight into its continuing importance as an element of the farm production of the estate in addition to being a visible indication of the owners status.


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


The monument includes a circular stone dovecote, located approximately 60m west of the late 18th/early 19th century house known as Barton Court. Barton Court was held by the Brooks family in the 16th century. The dovecote is rubble built with a 20th century rendered and whitewashed exterior and is a Listed Building Grade II*. The dovecote is believed to date from the middle of the medieval period and has an external diameter of approximately 5.5m, with the eaves level being approximately 3m to 4m high. The inside wall has approximately 900 stone nest holes built into it with a continuous stone alighting ledge every two rows. The timber roof structure of the dovecote is thought to date from the 17th or 18th century. It is conical in form, surmounted by a timber cupola. The cupola has two rows of flight holes and there are further flight holes below the eaves. Entrance to the dovecote is gained through a low, 1.3m high, round arched opening with a timber door, located on the south east side, adjacent to a wall, approximately 5m long, which connects the dovecote to the adjacent barn. The wall runs to the south west from a point by the southern jamb of the door. The wall is excluded from the scheduling where it falls within the monument's margin of protection, although the ground beneath it is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 1 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: 31979

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Stainburn, , Dovecotes and Pigeonhouses in Herefordshire, (1979), 5
FKB, Ordnance Survey Antiquity Model, (1971)
Herefordshire East, RCHME Inventory, Herefordshire east, RCHME Inventory, (1932)

End of official listing