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Latitude: 55.8422 / 55°50'31"N
Longitude: -3.1284 / 3°7'42"W
OS Eastings: 329437
OS Northings: 661571
OS Grid: NT294615
Mapcode National: GBR 60LW.JL
Mapcode Global: WH6T6.XFG5
Entry Name: Thornton Farm, Dovecot
Listing Date: 10 June 1998
Source: Historic Scotland
Source ID: 392515
Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB45568
Building Class: Cultural
Electoral Ward: Midlothian South
Traditional County: Midlothian
Late 18th century. Single chamber lectern dovecot over ground floor room. Tooled coursed pink sandstone with droved dressings; relieving arches; long and short quoins; coped gables; roofless (1998).
NW (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: broad central doorway to ground floor.
SW ELEVATION: opening to centre of ground floor; large opening set with boarded timber door above.
SE ELEVATION: 18 flight holes above flight ledge below roof; base to sundial to left skewputt.
NE ELEVATION: window to centre of ground floor.
INTERIOR: brick nesting boxes to NW wall above doorway; remains of brick nesting boxes to SE; evidence of joist holes above the ground floor room.
Thornton Dovecot was part of the home farm (see separate listing) associated with Whitehill House (now St. Joseph's Hospital, see separate listing), for which it would have provided an extra source of fresh food during the winter. It is characteristic of the lectern dovecot which became widespread in the 16th and 17th centuries. The lean-to roof faces SE so that the birds can sit in the sun, whilst being protected from the north wind by the high back wall. It would appear that the dovecot originally had a small room with windows on the ground floor, perhaps for storage or removal of pigeon dung.
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