Dovecote 250m south east of South Hill Farm, Aston Munslow


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:


Ordnance survey map of Dovecote 250m south east of South Hill Farm, Aston Munslow
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Shropshire (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SO 51031 86710

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 250m south of South Hill Farm, Aston Munslow is a good example of this class of monument. In addition to the extant structural remains, the internal floor and the base for the potence are expected to survive well as buried features. This dovecote, like the one nearby at Thonglands, is directly associated with a large medieval house, indicating that doves were an important source of food for these wealthy medieval households. Only a few dovecotes dating to the medieval period are known to survive in Shropshire.


The monument includes the standing structural and buried remains of a dovecote, constructed on sloping ground 30m south of The White House, a 15th century manor house, which was altered and enlarged between the 16th and 19th centuries. The White House, a Listed Building Grade II*, may occupy the site of an earlier medieval dwelling. The dovecote is very similar to the one at the moated site at Thonglands about 4.75km to the north east, which is the subject of a separate scheduling. Both of these circular stone-built dovecotes were probably constructed in the 14th or 15th century. The dovecote south of The White House is built of limestone bonded with a clay lime mortar, and is set within a small depression. Its wall averages 1.3m wide and encloses an area 4.8m in diameter. Externally, the stonework is roughly coursed and has been partially repointed in modern times. Built into the interior face of the wall are square nest holes. The limestone slab bases of the nest holes, protrude about 0.1m to form ledges from where the birds alighted. It is believed that originally the dovecote contained about 500 nest holes. The southern half of the building stands just over 6m high, while the northern half has collapsed and now survives to a height of 0.8m. Collapsed rubble, about 1m deep, seals the remains of the internal floor and the base for a centrally revolving ladder, or potence. To the north, and also filled with collapsed masonry, are the remains of a doorway. The dovecote survived as a roofed structure until about 1930. Limestone tiles, with peg holes, from the roof of the dovecote have been used to edge the flower beds of the surrounding garden.

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.

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Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County of Shropshire: Volume X, (1998), 157
Stamper, P, The Farmer Feeds Us All, (1989), 18
The Whitehouse gardener, (2001)


This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

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