Dovecote at Little Blackford
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Somerset County Council
West Somerset District Council
Bridgwater and West Somerset
SN925925 (292475, 145284)
The nearest postcode is an aid to location, and does not necessarily reflect the actual address of the monument. Most scheduled monuments are not occupied buildings and have no postal address or postcode of their own. In rural and coastal areas, the nearest geocodable postal address may be several miles away.
Blackford Dovecote built in the 13th or 14th centuary is one of the oldest buildings on the Holnicote Estate. It is a Scheduled Ancient Monument Listed Grade II*
The first known mention of the Blackford dovecote was in a document mentioned it as a dovecote (culverhouse) in 1393, and so must date from the fourteenth century, or earlier.
The manor house at Blackford was destroyed by fire in 1875, the present farmhouse being buiit soon afterwards on the opposite side of the road.
The dovecote is built of Devonian sandstone with lime mortar. The walls are 4 feet thick (1.2m) and the roof is built of diminishing courses of rubble stone,
with a round hole at the apex through which the pigeons flew in and out. The two tiers of rectangular holes in the roof interior are putlog holes, which are
construction holes for scaffolding.
There are eleven tiers of nest holes in the walls set in an irregular chequerboard pattern, the lowest is 2.4 feet (75cm) above the sloping earth floor. There were about 320 nest holes originally, of which 302 remain. The others were removed when the doorway was enlarged in the nineteenth century. The surface of the interior has been lime-washed.
James Maslen, 13 October 2013
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