Dovecote at the Site of Aston Old Hall, 40m East of Gamekeepers Cottage
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County Council (Unitary)
Cheshire West and Chester Council
SJ553553 (355314, 378042)
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A dovecote attached to the southern end of a barn in the grounds of Gamekeepers Cottage. The dovecote, which is Listed Grade II, was originally free-standing and has a date stone, with the year 1691 carved into it, set into the wall above the bricked up west doorway. The building formed part of the refurbishment of the Old Hall by the Aston family after the Civil War. The hall has been pulled down and is now represented by a moated platform among the trees at the east side of the dovecote. The dovecote, which is now roofless, is large in comparison to other examples and stands on a plinth of sandstone blocks measuring 11 metres by 5.4 metres. It is built of brick, 12 metres high at the gables, with a plain brick band halfway up the wall. The blocked doorway in the west wall has sandstone quoins and lintel. Two entrances at the rear are without stonework and are probably more recent. The dovecote was originally divided into two chambers by a wall up to the roof. This has been removed but the tooling is still visible. The nest boxes are constructed with an alighting ledge made of two courses of brick of which the lower course has the bricks set diagonally to support the course above. The original design would have thus provided about 1300 nest boxes. In the northern wall is a window opening with a stone mullion, now blocked up, which originally provided an entrance for the stock. Scheduled.
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