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Linlithgow, Learmonth Gardens, Dovecot

Dovecot (Period Unassigned), Garden (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Linlithgow, Learmonth Gardens, Dovecot

Classification Dovecot (Period Unassigned), Garden (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Ross Doocot; Station Road; Strawberry Bank

Canmore ID 49256

Site Number NT07NW 8

NGR NT 00345 77008

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Digital Images

Administrative Areas

  • Council West Lothian
  • Parish Linlithgow
  • Former Region Lothian
  • Former District West Lothian
  • Former County West Lothian

Recording Your Heritage Online

Ross Doocot, Learmonth Gardens, 16th century

Built by the Barons Ross of Halkhead, probably on the tail rig of their lodging. A circular beehive doocot, its thick rubble walls contain 370 nesting boxes, bound by three projecting rat-courses, rather like stringcourses. Recent lantern on top. Gardens commemorate Alexander Learmonth, Provost of Linlithgow, 1802-7. Wellbank, c.1850, is a pleasant cottage framed by two sets of three square chimneys, and a pedimented skewputt.

Taken from "West Lothian: An Illustrated Architectural Guide", by Stuart Eydmann, Richard Jaques and Charles McKean, 2008. Published by the Rutland Press

Archaeology Notes

NT07NW 8 00345 77008

(NT 00345 77008) Dovecot (NR)

OS 6" map (1958)

A 16th century circular dovecot, rubble-built, with three string-courses, and topped by a modern cap. The N-facing entrance, 2'5" wide, has a pointed arch head cut in two stones. The bird entrances, now closed up, were between the middle and top string-courses. The walls over the nests are 2'8" thick, and the structure is 10'8" in internal diameter at base.

RCAHMS 1929, visited 1926

This beehive-shaped dovecot is as described above. It has been slightly restored, but is otherwise in good condition. Not in use.

Visited by OS (JLD) 24 December 1952

OS (JLD) confirmed.

Visited by OS (BS) 20 March 1974


Standing Building Recording (30 July 2015 - 12 August 2015)

Photographic Survey of Learmonth Gardens retaining walls.

The West Lothian Council is proposing a landscape redesign for Learmonth Gardens, Linlithgow. Wardell Armstrong Archaeology was commissioned by the West Lothian Council Construction Service (CS14219) to undertake a measured photographic survey of the small public park, (NGR: NT 30335/677010, centred on the Doocot).

The garden is within the Upper Linlithgow & Union Canal Conservation Area. The area of Learmonth Gardens is part of at least 3 former Burgage plots. The proposed site is an existing garden which has historical significance with it being a former tail ‘Rigg’ (Burgage plot). One of the tree burgage plots belonged to the Barons Ross of Halkhead who had their town house on the High Street. The medieval burgage plots would have been aligned roughly north – south, dividing the land in several narrow strips of land. The whole of the garden falls within the area of increased archaeological sensitivity in relation to the likely core of the medieval burgh. The medieval royal burgh appears to have been planned as a single-street settlement, aligned east-west. The modern town still exhibits the typical landholding patterns of a planned burgh, with a series of long, narrow burgage plots leading back from the principal medieval thoroughfares.

The current setting of the retaining walls goes back to the mid-19th century, when the railway tracks were built through the property of several High Street burgage plots in 1842. The archaeological significance of the retaining walls is therefore of lesser value. Modern changes and rebuilt of the upper level, first and second step retaining walls further reduce their historic and archaeological value.

Information from OASIS ID: wardella2-220420 (A Buschmann) 2015

Watching Brief (30 July 2015 - 5 April 2016)

NT 00345 77008 A survey was carried out, 30 July – 12 August 2015, of Learmonth Gardens in advance of the construction of a balustrade and gate between the first and second step of the walls. The gardens form part of the medieval settlement of Linlithgow; however, the current retaining walls date to

1842, when railway tracks were built through several High Street burgage plots. Modern changes have also been made to the walls, with the upper level, first and second steps of the wall being rebuilt.

A watching brief was undertaken, 5 April 2016, in advance of the placement of underground electricity cables. The excavation of a 43.4m long by 0.4m wide and 0.5–0.6m deep trench recorded no finds or features of archaeological significance.

Archive: NRHE

Funder: West Lothian Council

Ariane Buschmann, Mark Lawson and Richard Newman – Wardell Armstrong Archaeology

(Source: DES, Volume 17)


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