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Dovecote and pigsties at Jodrell Hall

A Grade II* Listed Building in Twemlow, Cheshire East

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Latitude: 53.2287 / 53°13'43"N

Longitude: -2.3066 / 2°18'23"W

OS Eastings: 379632

OS Northings: 370227

OS Grid: SJ796702

Mapcode National: GBR 003.RMS

Mapcode Global: WH99N.J3VN

Entry Name: Dovecote and pigsties at Jodrell Hall

Listing Date: 12 March 1987

Last Amended: 10 June 2016

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1231671

English Heritage Legacy ID: 406848

Location: Twemlow, Cheshire East, CW4

County: Cheshire East

Civil Parish: Twemlow

Traditional County: Cheshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cheshire

Church of England Parish: Goostrey St Luke

Church of England Diocese: Chester

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A C17 brick dovecote over a vegetable store and pigsties, extended in the early C19 and with late C19 alterations, including adjacent enclosed yards.


Dovecote-cum-pigsties of the late C17, with C19 alterations.

MATERIALS: sandstone, red brick and stone flags.

PLAN: square three-storeyed tower with pyramidal roof with a central pyramidal glover.

EXTERIOR: in the grounds of Terra Nova School (the former Jodrell Hall), approximately 15m NE of the farm buildings.

Above a stone plinth the walls are of hand-made brick laid in English Garden Wall bond. At lower level there are two courses of stretchers between header courses, but above half-height of the second-floor door jamb this doubles to four stretcher courses between header courses. A two-course projecting band runs around the building below the threshold of the second-storey door; this band is in Flemish Bond. The second-floor entrance to the dovecote is central in the SE elevation, and is a plain rectangular opening with a flat head of alternating red and burnt headers, and a stone threshold. The thick frame has a rectangular over-light above the ledged and battened door. Below this door at ground floor are two low pigsty openings with rubbed-brick segmental arches and a brick pier between (the left opening now blocked). The wall to the right is partly obscured by the SE extension.

The left return has two similar openings, but in either corner the left of these is also blocked. Between these and off-centre to the right is the first-floor door, with a segmental arch of alternating red and burnt headers. This is blocked above the flat head of the vertical-boarded door which has a dowelled, heavy, moulded timber frame. The door is accessed by a concrete bridge* leading from wall-top brick steps*; some blocking below the bridge might relate to the original access. The right return is obscured at ground floor by the NE extension, and blind above this. An eaves line defines the SE corner of this extension, which returns to meet the main tower, the return obscured by the adjacent, lower, building to the SE which is not included. The eaves of the pyramidal stone-flag roof project with exposed rafter feet. The central glover is a smaller pyramid supported on wooden posts, with three open lights to each side. There is a C20 weather vane*.

INTERIOR: the pigsties are stone-flagged and lime-washed with exposed ceiling joists and wide floorboards above. The SW room was inaccessible but the NW room has a blocked window and doorway in the NE wall. The first-floor vegetable store is divided by a timber-framed partition, slightly off-centre but allowing the two halves to share the (now blocked) window. A large transverse beam rests on this, hand-cut and chamfered; the ceiling joists are machine-cut. The partition comprises top, bottom and middle rails and four posts, with mortice-holes for a fifth post and fourth section of middle rail. The timbers are hand-cut and there are mortices and grooves for wattle nogging. The nesting loft has niches for 360 pairs and a central timber potence (revolving ladder) with pivot and arms, but no fixed ladder. Both the first and second floors have concrete screeds*. Two beams support the four posts of the roof which is torched, with a single purlin to each side sitting between the hips. All of the roof timbers are machine-cut and the beams are chamfered. A timber and iron grille for the glover survives but is detached.

SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: Brick walls with hog-back stone copings (one flat-coped) surround the yards, with stone gateposts at the openings, some damaged. The yards have a brick herringbone-pattern floor. A cement-lined trough* stands in the SE yard and glazed drains* have been inserted through the yard walls for transferring water or swill.

* Pursuant to s.1 (5A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (‘the Act’) it is declared that these aforementioned features are not of special architectural or historic interest.


The dovecote stands in the grounds of the school which now occupies Jodrell Hall, although the building was part of a separate plot on the Tithe map of 1836-51 and the apportionment has no details for this plot. The present hall was built in 1779 and was one of Egerton Leigh of West Hall’s houses (1752-1833), and at the time of the Tithe was occupied by his son, also called Egerton (1779-1865). If the dovecote was built for the Leigh family, it is most likely to have been for Thomas Leigh (d1676) or his son, Rev Peter Leigh (1663-1719). The building is shown on the Ordnance Survey 1:2,500 map of 1874 by which time there was an extension to the NE, probably the extant lean-to NE extension. A further phase of extension took place before the 1:2,500 map of 1898 was surveyed, and the yard walls probably date from this last quarter of the C19 (for the first time enclosing the area between the hitherto separate SE and SW yards). The brick wall-top steps and concrete bridge to the first floor are a C20 addition, as are the cement-lined trough in the SE yard and the glazed drains inserted through the yard walls. The building incorporates a section of post-medieval timber-framing which might have been reused.

Reasons for Listing

The dovecote-cum-pigsties at Jodrell Hall, a C17 building with C19 alterations, is listed at Grade II* for the following principal reasons:
* Rarity: as a substantially intact C17 farm building, and of the combination with pigsties, themselves a rare building type;
* Architectural quality: for its vernacular detailing including variation of brick bonding and use of projecting and contrasting-coloured bricks for decorative effect;
* Intactness: of its little-altered exterior and internal arrangements, in particular the retention of the potence pole and arms;
* Group value: for its strong visual and functional relationship with the adjacent farm buildings (NHLE 1277453) and the Hall (NHLE 1231670).

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