Dovecote at Hawley Manor
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Kent County Council
Dartford Borough Council
Sutton-at-Hone and Hawley
OV549549 (554884, 172048)
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A dovecote situated within the grounds of Hawley manor. The dovecote is dated by its architectural features to the early 17th century (a plaque on the north eastern dormer window inscribed with the date 1556 is believed to be a 20th century insertion). The square, north east-south west aligned building has sides measuring 7 metres in length, and is constructed of red brick laid in English bond. It is topped by a pyramidal clay-tiled roof, lit by Dutch-style dormer windows on three sides. This is surmounted by a glazed lantern below a large, ogee-shaped cupola decorated with carved wooden corner pendants. Other external architectural details include a mid-height string course, leaded lights with coloured glass and a moulded wooden eaves cornice. Built within the lime washed interior walls are 549 integral nesting boxes, many edged with a parapet to stop yound birds from falling out. Below each row is a brick ledge which functioned as an alighting platform. Human access to the nesting boxes is by way of a wooden peg ladder leading up to two sets of beams fixed into the walls. The building remained in use as a dovecote until 1939. The cupola was renewed in 1922, and further repair work was carried out to the building after fire damage in 1970. Scheduled and Listed Grade II*.
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