The dovecote was originally part of the Milcombe Hall estate and was constructed in the early 18th Century by John Thorneycroft, the incumbent of Milcombe Hall at the time. It was extensively refurbished in the early 1990s and is a Scheduled Monument, and a Grade 2 Listed Building.
The structure has an octagonal plan and is constructed of coursed ironstone rubble. It has a stone slate roof, with dentil moulding below eaves formed of projecting joists, and supported by a wooden hipped structure, which, although likely to be 18th C, is late medieval in character. The roof is fitted with four dormers, with lattice work made of battens, a lantern and originally contained a cupola trapdoor. There is a single entrance and inside there are perching ledges and nesting boxes for 860 birds, arranged in 22 tiers covering all 8 sides.
Originally there was, fitted to the cross beams, a revolving structure inside, known as a potence, to enable ease of egg collection from all of the nest “niches”. This mechanism was still extant in October 1979. CL Potter June 2011
Dovecote repair work
Cherwell District Council has confirmed that the works to the wall would go ahead,
but no start date had yet been agreed.
The Dovecote is owned by Cherwell District Council who hold a key. There is a stipulation-set by CDC – for insurance purposes – that the key cannot just be handed out to members of the public. Any member of the public who wishes to view inside the Dovecote needs to apply to the PC and they can then be accompanied by a Councillor. We normally have it opened on Fete afternoons. Web Administrator S Smith.
Planning application 16/00935/LB issued by Cherwell District Council Conservation works to walls and roof of Dovecote. Works to include repointing sections of the external walls in lime mortar; repairs to lime render to dormer window cheeks; replace isolated missing/slipped stone roof slates; repairs to lime mortar hip ridges; refixing of timber lintel details to joist ends; repairs to timber latticework to dormer windows; replace pigeon netting to roof top lantern light. The works also include the erection of a scaffold tower internally to allow a close inspection of the roof timbers. Repairs to the perimeter wall to the open land are also included in the project; clearing vegetation, replacing missing stones. The Parish Council has not been given any indication as to when these works are likely to proceed.