Search for historic dovecotes

The hunt is on for historic dovecotes in the Yorkshire Dales.

Owners of the up-market accommodation for doves and pigeons are being asked to get in touch with the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) to help in a special new conservation project.

Robert White, the Authority’s Senior Conservation Archaeologist, said: “Dovecotes played an important part in rural life in the National Park.

“The birds they housed provided their owners with many resources, including eggs and meat for food, feathers for bedding – and even fertiliser.

Dovecote - Picture courtesy of Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority

Dovecote - Picture courtesy of Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority

“We want to hear from people who have them – whether they are built into their houses or outbuildings or are freestanding – because, if we can identify more examples and increase our knowledge of their design and distribution, we will be able to improve the ways we can conserve and protect them in the future.

“Not all of them have survived so we would also be interested in any documentary records.“

Feature of the Season

Dovecotes are put under the microscope in the YDNPA’s Feature of the Season Project, which was designed to increase understanding and appreciation of unrecorded, small-scale historic features in the National Park ranging from unusual gate posts and churn stands to veteran trees and turbary stones.

The project aims to create accessible records of them – mainly through the help of Dales Volunteers – that are included in the National Park Authority’s Historic Environment Record.

An article about them can be found on the YDNPA website at

Anyone who has information about dovecotes is asked to contact the Authority’s historic environment team on 01969 652300.

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