Hawford Dovecote is the last remnant of a former medieval monastic grange, this curious crooked dovecote sits prettily in the Worcestershire countryside. Surviving virtually unaltered since the late 16th century, the picturesque dovecote, retains many of its nesting boxes and original features. If you're visiting the dovecote make the most of your day by visiting nearby Hanbury Hall or Wichenford Dovecote.
A dovecote or dovecot or doocot is a structure intended to house pigeons or doves. Dovecotes may be free-standing structures in a variety of shapes, or built into the end of a house or barn. They generally contain pigeonholes for the birds to nest. Pigeons and doves were an important food source historically in Western Europe and were kept for their eggs, flesh, and dung.
The Romans may have introduced dovecotes or columbaria to Britain since pigeon holes have been found in Roman ruins at Caerwent. However, it is believed that doves were not commonly kept there until after the Norman invasion. The earliest known examples of dove-keeping occur in Norman castles of the 12th century (for example, at Rochester Castle, Kent, where nest-holes can be seen in the keep), and documentary references also begin in the 12th century. The earliest surviving, definitely dated free-standing dovecote in England was built in 1326 at Garway in Herefordshire. The Welsh name colomendy has itself become a place name (similarly in Cornwall:colomen + ty = dove house). One Medieval Dovecote still remains standing at Potters Marston in Leicestershire, a hamlet near to the village of Stoney Stanton. Although works have been carried out to restore this Dovecote, it still stands on the site of Potters Marston Hall.
** – Facilities – **
Location : Hawford Dovecote, Hawford, Worcestershire, WR3 7SG
Transport: Worcester Foregate Street (National Rail) then bus (First 303) - 3 miles. Bus routes: First 303 Worcester-Kidderminster (passing Worcester Foregate Street train station and Kidderminster), alight Hawford Lodge, ¼ miles.
Opening Times: Dawn till dusk.
Tel: 01527 821214