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Dolphingstone Doocot

Dovecot (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Dolphingstone Doocot

Classification Dovecot (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Dolphington

Canmore ID 53654

Site Number NT37SE 14

NGR NT 38175 72756

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council East Lothian
  • Parish Prestonpans
  • Former Region Lothian
  • Former District East Lothian
  • Former County East Lothian

Archaeology Notes

NT37SE 14 38175 72756

(NT 3817 7275) Dovecot (NR)

OS 1:10000 map (1973)

Dovecot, Dolphingstone: This 17th century, beehive type dovecot measures 51ft in circumference at the base. It has a flattish domed roof covered with stone slabs; random rubble wall, partly harled, with two string courses. There is an entry for pigeons through an opening in the centre of the roof, and two other openings in the wall, about 2ft square. No nests remain. This dovecot is in fair repair (D C Bailey and M C Tindall 1963). (See NT37SE 7 for remains of associated house).

RCAHMS 1924, visited 1914; J Whitaker 1938; C McWilliam 1978

This dovecot is as described by the previous authorities.

Visited by OS (SFS), 26 August 1975.

Architecture Notes


Scottish Record Office:

Contract between Robert Geddes, Scotston and James Somerville, mason in Lintoun, for a Dovecot 16' long and 14' wide with 560 holes.

1735 RH15/70/40

Site Management (8 July 2008)

3-stage beehive dovecot. Sandstone rubble. Pair of thumbnail-bead rat courses dividing stages; evenly arranged water-spouts at cornice level. Doorway at SE. Pair of square openings, randomly arranged, to middle stage, at SE.

The first dovecots built in Scotland were the beehive dovecots that appeared in the 16th century, typically circular-plan conical structures with pigeon access to the central chamber by means of an oculus opening at the building's apex. The Dolphingstone Dovecot, originally in the policies of the late 17th century, now ruined, Cowthrople House, has the remains of a glover (cupola) evident on its roof, and like the dovecot at Preston Tower has evidence of shells being used in the structure's mortar.(Historic Scotland)


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