Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The Kinwarton Dovecote

By Richard Denning

On a recent trip to Evesham I stopped at this National Trust Property. The Kinwarton Dovecote is a (fairly rare in the UK) surviving circular 14th-century dovecote situated in Kinwarton, near Alcester in Warwickshire. The dovecot is the only remaining structure from a moated grange that belonged to the Abbey of Evesham, which was close by. (A grange is an outlying farm with tithe barns belonging to a monastery or feudal lord.)

The right to own and use a dovecote was a 'perk' of being a Lord of the Manor.

There is evidence of a certain Robert Green gifting a dovecote to Abbot William de Boys of Evesham. There is no specific evidence that this is that dovecot but its the right age so it could well be.

The dating of the dovecot is based on the style of the doorway which is called a ‘ogee’ arch which have a sort of double S shape. The walls which are over 3 feet thick are built of rubble with plaster rendering.

The interior is lined with over 580 nesting boxes arranged in 17 layers. Access to the boxes was made possible due to the installation of a ‘potence’; a ladder which is made to pivot around a central post.

Above you can see the timbered roof and below an idea of the thickness of the walls can be gauged from this shot of the door way from inside the dovecote.


Richard Denning is an historical fiction author whose main period of interest is the Early Anglo-Saxon Era. His Northern Crown series explores the late 6th and early 7th centuries through the eyes of a young Saxon lord. Explore the darkest years of the dark ages with Cerdic.

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