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Aberdour, Aberdour Castle Dovecot

A Category A Listed Building in Inverkeithing and Dalgety Bay, Fife

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Coordinates

Latitude: 56.0546 / 56°3'16"N

Longitude: -3.2972 / 3°17'49"W

OS Eastings: 319307

OS Northings: 685400

OS Grid: NT193854

Mapcode National: GBR 24.QH6B

Mapcode Global: WH6S5.B24S

Entry Name: Aberdour, Aberdour Castle Dovecot

Listing Date: 2 May 1973

Category: A

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 334730

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB3611

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Aberdour (Fife)

County: Fife

Electoral Ward: Inverkeithing and Dalgety Bay

Parish: Aberdour (Fife)

Traditional County: Fife

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Aberdour

Description

16th century, renovated 1990s. Circular beehive dovecot. Coursed rubble rising in 4 stages. Rat course to 1st stage, rat course/alighting ledge to remaining stages. Small entrance to N, weather table supported by square corbels above. Interior, walls built in converging rings, circular opening to roof. Five steps down to stone floor, foundation for potence visible, stone nesting boxes to full height, central flight hole.

Statement of Interest

NOTES: SCHEDULED ANCIENT MONUMENT. A-Group with Aberdour Castle, Aberdour Castle West Doorway, Aberdour Castle Walled Garden, Aberdour Sundial. The dovecot stands to the S of the castle and is first recorded in a charter of 1540. Of all the dovecots to be found in the parish (see separate listings), the distinctive beehive shape denotes its primacy as first in date. Beehive dovecots are usually squat in appearance, however this example is more elegant than most. The entrance is typically small for security and to minimise the potential of birds escaping. It is rather unusual that five steps lead down into the chamber, most tend to be on ground floor level. The floor shows signs of where the potence stood, being a revolving ladder providing access to the nesting boxes so that eggs and birds could be easily gathered. The beehive design was superseded in the 16th and 17th centuries by dovecots of square and rectangular plan, such examples can be found within the parish (see separate listings). Dovecots served not only as valuable sources of meat and manure they also acted as visible symbols of wealth and status. When the dovecot was surveyed in 1979 it was recorded that there were 597 stone nesting boxes. For further information see Aberdour Castle list description.

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