Pigeon Cote


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:
Pigeon Cote Plantation, Moor Road, Home Farm, Sewerby Hall, Bridlington, YO15 1EB


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Statutory Address:
Pigeon Cote Plantation, Moor Road, Home Farm, Sewerby Hall, Bridlington, YO15 1EB

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

East Riding of Yorkshire (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:


Pigeon cote, early C19.

Reasons for Designation

The Pigeon cote, Home Farm, Sewerby Hall, of early-C19 date, is listed at Grade II, for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:

* a good example of an early-C19 pigeon house, dating from a period when most buildings that retain a significant portion of their original fabric are likely to be regarded of special interest; * while providing a source of food, it also served as a picturesque eye-catcher from within the parkland; * a handsome tower that displays attention to detail, seen for example in the use of end pilasters, round-arched openings and ashlar dressings; * it retains the principal significant feature of pigeon cotes, including rows of original nest boxes, alighting ledges and original openings.

Group value:

* it benefits from a spatial and historic group value with the Grade I-listed Sewerby House and several other listed estate buildings.


Sewerby Hall was built between 1714 and 1720 by John Greame I, replacing an Elizabethan manor house. In the early C19, by which time Greame owned all of the surrounding land, he proceeded with the creation of parkland around the hall. It is considered that the pigeon cote adjacent to the Home Farm was built at this time, and that it functioned both as a source of food and as a parkland eye-catcher when viewed from the south-west; a fashionable and ostentatious display of wealth and status. The upper floor housed the nest boxes, and the ground floor was probably used as an animal shelter. On the death of John Greame III in 1841, the ownership of the Hall passed to his son Yarburgh Greame, who commissioned a number of improvements to the house and parkland during the 1840s. A depiction of the pigeon cote is shown on the 1851 first edition of the 1:10,560 Ordnance Survey map and it has continued to be depicted on subsequent maps.

The Hall and the estate remained in the ownership of the descendents of John Greame until 1934, when Yarburgh Lloyd-Greame sold the Hall and part of the estate to Bridlington Corporation, by which time; the pigeon cote had lost its original function. The aviator Amy Johnson opened the hall and park to the public at a ceremony held on 1 June 1936 and it continues to be a popular tourist attraction; the pigeon cote stands outside of the current park. It is associated with eight listed estate buildings, including Sewerby House (Grade I).

An Anglo-Saxon burial ground was discovered in the park in 1959, which led to the ground beneath the pigeon cote being scheduled in 1961 and revised in 1995, excluding all modern farm buildings and surface features.


Pigeon cote, early C19.

MATERIALS: fair-faced, buff coloured brick, laid in English-bond, with ashlar dressings.

PLAN: a rectangular-plan, two-storey tower structure.

EXTERIOR: the main classical-style (south-west) elevation has an ashlar plinth and is pierced by a central doorway; it has a round brick arch, with ashlar voussoirs and keystone, and a projecting brick surround. The doorway is situated beneath a matching first-floor window opening, with an ashlar window sill. The elevation has brick corner pilasters, with plain ashlar capitals blocks, separated by a projecting dentil eaves course. The side and rear elevations are blind, the pilasters wrap around the corners of the two side elevations and the dentil eaves course, which formally supported timber guttering, runs around the whole of the structure. The building is un-roofed.

INTERIOR: the ground-floor room has an earth floor; the walls are fair-faced brick. The doorway has ashlar blocks set within the jambs, with projecting wrought-iron hinge pins, a latch catch, and a bar stay. It is flanked to either side by a lamp recess, one with a missing ashlar stone sill, and the left recess has had a hole broken through the brickwork. A pair of wrought-iron ‘L’ brackets is set into the rear wall, to store a loft ladder. The timber first-floor is missing; however, each of the side walls within the structure has joist slots to support the floor. The surfaces of the pigeon loft walls have been white-washed to floor level, with six rows of alighting ledges and nesting boxes to each wall, including either side of the window in the front wall, giving a total of 296 nesting boxes. The boxes are entered off the projecting brick alighting ledges by small gaps in the brickwork, allowing access into a cavity space within the depth of the wall.


Books and journals
Allison, K J (Editor), Victoria History of the Counties of England, Yorkshire, East Riding, Vol II, (June 1974)
Anon, , Sewerby Hall and Gardens, (May 2015), 13 - 16
Sewerby Hall, accessed 10 December 2018 from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sewerby_Hall
Hirst, M, 'An Anglo-Saxon Inhumation Cemetry at Sewerby East Yorkshire, York University Archaeological Publication 4, (1985)
Neave, D & S, 'East Riding Designed Gardens, Sewerby Hall', Yorkshire Gardens Trust, May 2013


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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