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Sheriffhall Dovecot

A Category B Listed Building in Dalkeith, Midlothian

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.8996 / 55°53'58"N

Longitude: -3.0883 / 3°5'17"W

OS Eastings: 332047

OS Northings: 667924

OS Grid: NT320679

Mapcode National: GBR 60W6.6Z

Mapcode Global: WH6SV.JZL5

Entry Name: Sheriffhall Dovecot

Listing Date: 22 January 1971

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 354076

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB19674

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Newton

County: Midlothian

Electoral Ward: Dalkeith

Parish: Newton

Traditional County: Midlothian

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Description

Early 17th century. 4-stage square dovecot created from stair tower of former mansion. Red sandstone and basalt. String courses and crenellated angles.

NW (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: arched doorway to 1st stage behind string course, boarded timber door with metal hinges; in-filled arched window to right across 2nd/3rd stages; blind central window to 4th stage, eaves string course leading to crenellated corners with flat stone copes

NE ELEVATION: 4 blind stages, separated by string courses; random in-fills; eaves string course leading to crenellated corners with flat stone copes.

SE ELEVATION: 4 blind stages, separated by string courses; projecting triangular opening to lower 4th stage now in-filled with brick; eaves string course leading to crenellated corners with flat stone copes.

SW ELEVATION: 4 blind stages, separated by string courses; rectangular arrowslit opening to 3rd stage; eaves string course leading to crenellated corners with flat stone copes

Rubble in-fill to original windows. Pyramidal slated roof, with lantern entrance and ball finial surmounting.

INTERIOR: circular with 850 wooden nesting boxes arranged octagonally.

Statement of Interest

Originally this was the stair tower of Sheriffhall House, demolished in the 1830s. It had many famous residents, Thomas Tod the Provost of Edinburgh and David Crichton. Latterly, the house was owned by James Buchan, whose son George was the author of the HISTORY OF SCOTLAND. His study was housed in the upper portion of the mansion, and he used the dovecot stairs to access it. The house's final owners were the Buccleuch family, but the structure became undermined by one of their own coalpits. Like nearby Old Newton Kirk Tower, the converted dovecot was used as an eyecatcher for the pleasure grounds of Dalkeith Palace. The once derelict dovecot has undergone major repairs and it now in good condition. It is part of Sheriffhall Farm, listed separately.

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