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Tealing, Dovecot

Dovecot (16th Century)

Site Name Tealing, Dovecot

Classification Dovecot (16th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Tealing Dovecoet; Tealing Doocot; Tealing Home Farm

Canmore ID 33373

Site Number NO43NW 3

NGR NO 41283 38134

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/33373

Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2019.

Digital Images

Administrative Areas

  • Council Angus
  • Parish Tealing
  • Former Region Tayside
  • Former District City Of Dundee
  • Former County Angus

Archaeology Notes

NO43NW 3 4127 3813.

A possible 17th century dovecot, in excellent state of preservation. A date-stone '1595' belies the period of the structure, and has probably been inserted from an earlier secular building.

Visited by OS 8 May 1958.

Rectangular, gabled, rubble and slate, crowstepped, moulded string-course. Door lintel has monogram DMHG but skewpot is dated 1595.

Visited by RCAHMS (JBS) 12 July 1985.

Activities

Publication Account (1987)

As a class, dovecotes tend to be the oldest surviving agricultural buildings in this region. Pigeon farming was an important agricultural pursuit from the medieval period onwards, only declining after the introduction of fresh meat markets at the end of the 18th century. Dovecotes had a similar status to rabbit warrens and deer forests but, being buildings, they are easier to identify. In addition to providing fresh meat and eggs over the winter months, the dovecote also provided large quantities of valuable manure. The pigeon farmed in these structures was a type of rockdove which gave a white meat similar to rabbit rather than the dark meat of the wood pigeon. The pigeons were eaten as fully grown birds, as squabs or young birds and as eggs.

The dovecote provided a habitat similar to the caves inhabited by rock-doves. The birds bred naturally, the strongest birds occupying the top nests, the weakest birds in the nests at ground level. Birds were collected in the dark as they would not fly when they could not see. The collector would work by touch, wringing the necks of suitable birds.

The Tealing dovecote is unusual in that it is not of the beehive or lectern type but takes the form of a single cell building with a conventional pitched roof. As with most dovecotes in this region, the nesting boxes are constructed from flagstone ledges and haffIts. The chamfered doorway is surmounted by an inscribed lintel. The skewput carries the initials DM and the date 1595.

Information from ‘Exploring Scotland’s Heritage: Fife and Tayside’, (1987).

Publication Account (2013)

Dated 1595 with crowsteps and a monogram "DMHG". It has a double pitched roof, usual in most buildings but unusual for a dovecote, and the nest boxes are formed from local split sandstone ledges. It is within a range of farm buildings on the 18th/ 19th centuries, and an iron age Souterrain may also be visited.

M Watson, 2013

References

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