Lamorran dovecote


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Location Description:
Statutory Address:
Nr Lamorran, Truro, Cornwall, TR2 4HT


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Statutory Address:
Nr Lamorran, Truro, Cornwall, TR2 4HT

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

Location Description:
Cornwall (Unitary Authority)
St. Michael Penkevil
National Grid Reference:


Late-C17 or early-C18 dovecote, or culverhouse, approximately 80m west of Lamorran Glebe Farmhouse.

Reasons for Designation

Lamorran dovecote is listed at Grade II, for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest: * as a modest but well-built structure in local slate-stone, with a domed roof and central oculus; * it retains its key distinguishing features including the original low entrance and a complete set of internal nest boxes and ledges.

Historic interest: * as a specialised structure for the breeding and keeping of doves, which continues the traditions of those built in the medieval period; * out of the eight dovecotes associated with rectories in Cornwall as identified by Charles Henderson in 1929, it is one of only two known to survive.

Group value: * with the listed buildings in the hamlet of Lamorran, particularly the Grade II-listed Lamorran Glebe Farmhouse (former rectory) to which it provided highly-prized meat.


Lamorran, a hamlet close to St Michael Penkivel and on the Tregothnan estate, is centred on the Church of St Moran. The church sits within an Early Christian circular enclosure – or lann, as reflected in the hamlet’s name ‘Lannmoren’ which was first recorded in 969. The lann, church and its detached bell-tower, and churchyard cross are broadly contemporary C15/C16 structures. Lamorran was an important manor in the early-C13 and was the mansion of the Halap family until 1349. To the south of the church is a C16 and later manor house, and the former rectory (Lamorran Glebe Farmhouse) lies to the north-west of the church. Lamorran dovecote is located some 80m west of the rectory within a heavily-vegetated area.

The rectory is mentioned in the Glebe terrier in April 1680, and again in April 1727. The latter mentions ‘a stone dovehouse’ (along with other outbuildings) ‘built of mud and covered with thatch’. In the early-C19 the rectory was remodelled. At the time of the Tithe survey in 1840, the rector at St Moran’s was Reverend William Curgenven; the apportionment includes a reference to ‘Culver Meadow’, which is likely to be the field in which the dovecote sits (a dovecote is often also known as columbarium, and in Cornwall the term ‘culverhouse’ is usually used, an old English derivation of that word). The rectory ceased to be used as such in 1874. Little else is known about the early history of the dovecote. In 1929 Charles Henderson wrote an article about culverhouses, mentioning the one at Lamorran and its similarity to the one nearby at St Michael Penkivel rectory; however he states that ‘it has disappeared’.


Late-C17 or early-C18 dovecote, or culverhouse, approximately 80m west of Lamorran Glebe Farmhouse.

MATERIALS Slate-stone rubble and timber.

DETAILS The dovecote is located on a sloping site, near to a track which runs parallel with a tributary of the River Fal; this was dammed in the C19 to create fishponds as part of the landscaping of the Tregothnan estate. The dovecote is circular and approximately 11 feet (3m) in diameter with a domed roof and a thickened wall on the down-slope side. It has around 300 internal nest holes, some with narrow slate cills. On the south-east side is the entrance doorway with a timber frame and lintel; there is no door. Above the internal side of the opening is a further, larger lintel made from a tree-branch. The roof is partially covered with corrugated-iron sheet, but this has collapsed into the dovecote. The internal walls are partially lime-rendered.


Books and journals
Henderson, C, Essays in Cornish History, (1963), 213
Penhallurick, RD, The Birds of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, (1978), 389
Potts, R, A Calendar of Cornish Glebe Terriers 1673-1735, (1974), 70-71
Heritage Gateway: Cornwall & Scilly HER – HER number 22656, accessed 15/01/2020 from
Cornwall Tithe map and apportionment, Lamorran Parish, 1840

Ordnance Survey, Cornwall (1907) (1:2500)
Ratcliffe, J (Cornwall Archaeological Unit) Fal Estuary Historic Audit, 1997, p59
Western Morning News, Monday 14 January 1929, Charles Henderson ‘Culver-houses: where pigeons lived in the Middle Ages’, p6


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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