Dovecote at Culham Manor, 110m south west of St Paul's Church


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1019391

Date first listed: 14-Mar-2000


Ordnance survey map of Dovecote at Culham Manor, 110m south west of St Paul's Church
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Oxfordshire

District: South Oxfordshire (District Authority)

Parish: Culham

National Grid Reference: SU5008794881


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 Culham Manor, 110m south west of St Paul's Church survives well and is known to be the second largest dovecote built in England, now the largest surviving dovecote in the country. The name of its builder and the date of construction are known, enhancing our understanding of the monument. Its internal features are rare, and its unusually large size adds to its interest as a good, but unusually grand, example of its class, form and date.


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


The monument includes a 17th century dovecote, situated close to and in the grounds of Culham Manor. It is acknowledged to be the second largest dovecote built in England (the largest was at St Pancras Priory in Lewes, Sussex) and is now the largest surviving structure of its class. The dovecote, which is Listed Grade II*, was constructed in 1685 by Charles Budd, and there is a date stone immediately above the door. The dovecote is rectangular in plan and is built of stone rubble with brick dressings around the doorway and the four corners. The interior forms a double chamber containing a total of about 4,000 nesting boxes. The boxes are built of specially made brick and line all of the interior walls including the partition between the two chambers. The interior has no surviving furniture, and there are no signs of alighting ledges associated with the nest holes. The roof is gabled and tiled, with two raised wooden turrets at its apex. The boundary wall which abuts the dovecote, where it falls within the area of protection, is excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath it 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: 30848

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Hansell, P, Hansell, J, Doves and Dovecotes, (1988), 110

End of official listing