Dovecote at Cresswell Home Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1020128

Date first listed: 11-Feb-2002


Ordnance survey map of Dovecote at Cresswell Home Farm
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This copy shows the entry on 19-Jan-2019 at 10:42:16.


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

District: Northumberland (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Cresswell

National Grid Reference: NZ 29532 91963


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.

Although the structure is roofless and some of the stonework at the south east corner has deteriorated, the dovecote at Cresswell Home Farm forms a complete standing structure, which as a whole survives well. Following a national review of this class of monument in 1998, the dovecote is considered to be one of only a few exceptional survivals in Northumberland. It is rare in that external and internal features, including nest boxes, survive largely intact. The dovecote thus retains valuable evidence for the manner of its use and serves to illustrate part of the economy and lifestyle of the inhabitants of the 19th century farm. The association between the dovecote and the engine house is a very rare occurrence, and the fact that the chimney is designed to run up through the dovecote enhances the importance of the monument.


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


The monument includes a dovecote situated at Cresswell Home Farm, a planned farm of 1830. The dovecote, a Listed Building Grade II, forms part of a small group of buildings, including an engine house and a threshing barn, which are attached to the rear of the north range of the farm. The rest of the farm buildings, including the engine house and threshing barn, are also Listed Buildings Grade II but are not included in the scheduling. The dovecote is visible as a stone building 3.7 sq m and 11m high. Externally, it is constructed in three stages and the stonework is ashlar faced. On all four external faces there is a broad chamfered setback above the first stage and projecting moulded stone bands above the upper two stages. On the third, uppermost stage of the dovecote each face has a series of three pigeon openings, above an alighting band, upon which the pigeons could perch. The west face of the dovecote contains a doorway and a window through the wall of the first stage and a window in the second stage. The north face has a door and a window through the first stage; an external staircase, that is also included in the scheduling, gives access to the latter door. All window and door openings have raised and chamfered surrounds. Within the dovecote at least 60 stone nesting boxes, visible as rectangular recesses, are arranged around all four sides; the individual size of the nest boxes vary but most are on average 0.34m high by 0.38m wide. In the south east corner there is a 1 sq m stone chimney which rises through the dovecote, almost to roof height. This chimney acted as flue from the former engine house attached to the east side of the dovecote. Its location within the dovecote is considered to be deliberate, with the aim of providing a heat source throughout the year, thus enabling the doves to breed successfully during the winter and provide a reliable source of winter food. The stone wall of the adjacent engine house, which abuts the north wall of the dovecote, is excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath it, which falls within the monument's 1m protective margin, 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: 32768

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing