Monday, February 10, 2020

Spetchley, Worcestershire

For dove devotees
As is often the way with my explorations of English buildings, I went in search of one thing and found something else as well. In this case I was heading out of Worcester on a road I don’t usually take, in order to visit the church at Spetchley, with its impressive group of Berkeley monuments. Not far away I spotted this, and although the picture is from a while back, the stormy sky seemed appropriate for this month’s rough winds in Britain.

It’s a dovecote in a farmyard. I’ve posted pictures of dovecotes before. They’re often interestingly shaped buildings – circular or octagonal, for example: round dovecotes are especially favoured because they worked well with a ladder on a pivoting arm, enabling the owner to reach the young doves in their nest boxes.

This one however is square, probably 17th or 18th century, and timber-framed, reflecting much of Worcestershire’s traditional architecture. The walls are plain but there’s a touch of swagger in the little turret or louvre at the top, with its arched entrances through which the inmates can come and go. Its tiny overhanging pyramidal roof, covered with the same red tiles as the main roof, is a charming touch, sheltering the entrances and providing a landmark for returning doves seeking shelter from the storm.

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For more dovecote posts, see, these round, octagonal, and square examples, all built of stone; or, for yet more, click on the relevant word in the tag cloud in the right-hand column.

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