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Latitude: 55.8463 / 55°50'46"N
Longitude: -2.113 / 2°6'46"W
OS Eastings: 393023
OS Northings: 661455
OS Grid: NT930614
Mapcode National: GBR F0PV.B3
Mapcode Global: WH9Y3.JB11
Entry Name: Ayton Castle, Dovecot
Listing Date: 9 June 1971
Source: Historic Scotland
Source ID: 332791
Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB1989
Building Class: Cultural
County: Scottish Borders
Electoral Ward: East Berwickshire
Traditional County: Berwickshire
16th century with panel dated 1745(?) later inserted. 2-stage, circular-plan, beehive dovecot to E of Ayton Castle. Harl-pointed sandstone rubble; weathered sandstone dressings. Alighting ledge approximately 10ft above ground (missing/broken in part); wall slightly recessed above; projecting eaves/ledge (missing/broken in part). Square-headed doorway to S; door missing; rubble relieving arch above lintel; architraved sandstone panel centred above, inscribed 'T.F E.W 1745(?).' Stone-slabbed, shallow-domed roof with circular aperture at centre covered by later, octagonal-plan, boarded timber capping (broken in part); regularly spaced flight holes; finial missing.
INTERIOR: walls lined with 653 nesting boxes arranged in 17 rows (lowest row 3ft above ground). Circular opening centred in roof accessing timber cupola and flight holes. Timber potence with ladder on fixed triangular frame in place.
B Group comprises 'Ayton Castle', 'Ayton Castle, Dovecot', 'Ayton Castle, North Lodge', 'Ayton Castle, South Lodge', 'Ayton Castle, Stable Courtyard' and 'Ayton Castle, Walled Garden' (see separate list entries). The I.A.M REPORT notes this dovecot was originally harled and coloured with a red ochre - none or very little of which remains. Niven Robertson records each nesting box as measuring approximately 6' wide, 7' high and 12' deep. The fact that this type of dovecot usually dates from the 16th century (see separate list entry for 'Ninewells Dovecot, Chirnside Parish'), suggests the dated panel above the door was a later insertion - possibly to commemorate the completion of repairs to the nesting boxes, which as noted in the I.A.M REPORT, are in good condition. Although much weathered, the date appears to read 1745 (although Niven Roberston reads it as 1743).
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