Dovecote at Home Farm


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Location Description:
Statutory Address:
Ketton, Rutland, PE9 3TE


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Statutory Address:
Ketton, Rutland, PE9 3TE

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

Location Description:
Rutland (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:


Dovecote, probably dating to the C18.

Reasons for Designation

The dovecote, probably dating to the C18, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:

* it is a good example of the tower design of dovecote lined internally with nesting boxes;

* it is well-preserved, retaining both its architectural character and the principal elements that illustrate its original use;

Historic interest:

* it remains situated within its farmstead adjacent to the Grade II listed farmhouse;

Group value:

* it has strong group value with the farmhouse and numerous nearby listed buildings, and forms one of a cluster of three other Grade II listed dovecotes in the village.


Ketton is a large village on the road between Uppingham and Stamford. The buildings are predominantly constructed out of the local oolitic limestone which is thought to have been quarried since the early C13. The dovecote at Home Farm probably dates to the C18. Dovecotes were built from the Middle Ages to the C19 to supply tender and highly prized meat from spring to autumn, and were marks of considerable status. Whether square, multi-angular or circular, dovecotes were typically of two storeys with internal nesting holes for the birds and a central revolving ladder to give access to them. Most frequently dovecotes are found in home farm complexes although they sometimes fulfilled a decorative function too by being carefully placed in polite landscapes.

The farmhouse at 72 High Street (Grade II listed) associated with the dovecote at Home Farm was built in the Georgian style in 1851. It was used as a doctor’s surgery before later becoming headquarters of the local Home Guard during the Second World War. The dovecote is depicted on the first Ordnance Survey (OS) map of 1886 as a free-standing building in the south part of the farm. The second edition OS map shows that a new structure had been built against the south-west side of the dovecote. This is still present on the OS map of 1975 but was taken down at some point before 1991. The roof structure has been strengthened in the C20 and re-clad in pantiles. Home Farm remained as a working farm until 2018.


Dovecote, probably built in the C18.

MATERIALS: coursed local limestone rubble with some ashlar to the north-east elevation. Pantile roof covering.

PLAN: the dovecote is located at the south end of the farmstead and has a rectangular (almost square) plan.

EXTERIOR: the dovecote is an example of a tower dovecote with an approximately square plan. It is double-height with a steeply pitched roof which has exposed rafters at the gable ends. The principal south-east elevation has wide, centrally placed double-leaf doors (not original) under a timber lintel. Three cross-shaped tie plates are positioned just below the eaves. On the south-west elevation the gable head was formerly pierced by a small square opening for the entrance and exit of doves which has since been blocked up in red brick. The shadow of a gable end belonging to a former single-storey building, now demolished, is discernible. A rectangular patch of render within this area is probably associated with the period when this was an internal wall. The north-east elevation has large ashlar quoins on its north corner. The rear elevation is not fully visible due to its being partially covered in ivy. Both these elevations are blind.

INTERIOR: this is one open space up to the rafters. It is lined with stone nesting boxes along the south-west and south-east walls, and approximately along one third of the north-west wall. The remaining areas of the internal walls do not show any evidence of having had nesting boxes. The common rafter roof has through purlins. It has been strengthened in the C20 with two tie beams and a bridging beam.


Books and journals
Brunskill, R W, Traditional Farm Buildings of Britain and their Conservation, (2007)
Hoskins, W G, Rutland, (1949)


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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