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Edinburgh, Lochend Park

Dovecot (Period Unassigned), Kiln (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Edinburgh, Lochend Park

Classification Dovecot (Period Unassigned), Kiln (Period Unassigned)

Canmore ID 52507

Site Number NT27SE 46

NGR NT 27633 74963

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Edinburgh, City Of
  • Parish Edinburgh (Edinburgh, City Of)
  • Former Region Lothian
  • Former District City Of Edinburgh
  • Former County Midlothian


Publication Account (1964 - 1966)

The dovecot is depicted in a contemporary map of the 1560 siege of Leith.

Steer 1964; Donaldson 1966.

Field Visit (3 December 1975)

As described in previous information.

Visited by OS (S F S) 3 December 1975.

Trial Trench (15 January 2015)

NT 27633 74963 A single trial trench was excavated inside the doocot on 15 January 2015 on behalf of The Friends of Lochend Park. The work aimed to establish the nature of deposits in the doocot and identify any previous floor surfaces. The beehive doocot was constructed in the 16th century to serve the castle at Lochend. It is reputed to have been utilised as a plague kiln in the 17th century, and was used by the Royal Humane Society as a boathouse in the 1850s. The present ground surface within the doocot is an earthen floor and it is thought that the original ground level is substantially lower. Excavations revealed a rough stone floor surface which partially covered the interior and may have been associated with the structure’s use as a boathouse. Beneath this were further levelling deposits overlying pits dug into the natural subsoil. No original floor surface was encountered.

Archive and report: National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE)

Funder: Rubicon Heritage Services

Louise Baker - Rubicon Heritage Services

(Source: DES, Volume 16)

Desk Based Assessment

NT27SE 46 27633 74963.

(NT 2763 7495) Plague Kiln (NR)

OS 6" map, (1966)

This feature was originally a dovecot, built in the 16th century. It is circular, basal circumference 67'. The 3'7" thick walls are rubble; there is one string-course. Its fabric has been considerably altered, it is said for use as a kiln for disinfection during the plague of 1645. The top has been heightened with a masonry collar; a wide modern entrance has been cut out of the S side, but the original entrance, now built up, faced E. No nests remain, but the broken sills of 27 tiers may still be seen, so there must have been about 1000 of them In 1852, the building was used as a boat-house by the Royal Humane Society, and it is now used as a store for implements used in the park.

RCAHMS 1951; A N Robertson 1945.

The dovecot is depicted in a contemporary map of the 1560 siege of Leith.

Steer 1964; Donaldson 1966.

Information from OS Index Card.


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