Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing – see ‘About Listed Buildings’ below for more information.


Status: Designated


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Group Category Details
100000020 - see notes
Date Added
Supplementary Information Updated
Local Authority
Scottish Borders
Planning Authority
Scottish Borders
NT 93023 61455
393023, 661455


16th century with panel dated 1745(?) later inserted. 2-stage, circular-plan, beehive dovecot to E of Ayton Castle. Harl-pointed sandstone rubble; weathered sandstone dressings. Alighting ledge approximately 10ft above ground (missing/broken in part); wall slightly recessed above; projecting eaves/ledge (missing/broken in part). Square-headed doorway to S; door missing; rubble relieving arch above lintel; architraved sandstone panel centred above, inscribed 'T.F E.W 1745(?).' Stone-slabbed, shallow-domed roof with circular aperture at centre covered by later, octagonal-plan, boarded timber capping (broken in part); regularly spaced flight holes; finial missing.

INTERIOR: walls lined with 653 nesting boxes arranged in 17 rows (lowest row 3ft above ground). Circular opening centred in roof accessing timber cupola and flight holes. Timber potence with ladder on fixed triangular frame in place.

Statement of Special Interest

B Group comprises 'Ayton Castle', 'Ayton Castle, Dovecot', 'Ayton Castle, North Lodge', 'Ayton Castle, South Lodge', 'Ayton Castle, Stable Courtyard' and 'Ayton Castle, Walled Garden' (see separate list entries). The I.A.M REPORT notes this dovecot was originally harled and coloured with a red ochre - none or very little of which remains. Niven Robertson records each nesting box as measuring approximately 6' wide, 7' high and 12' deep. The fact that this type of dovecot usually dates from the 16th century (see separate list entry for 'Ninewells Dovecot, Chirnside Parish'), suggests the dated panel above the door was a later insertion - possibly to commemorate the completion of repairs to the nesting boxes, which as noted in the I.A.M REPORT, are in good condition. Although much weathered, the date appears to read 1745 (although Niven Roberston reads it as 1743).



Ordnance Survey map, 1860 (evident). A Niven Robertson THE OLD DOVECOTES OF SCOTLAND (1961) p486. T Buxbaum SCOTTISH DOOCOTS (1987). C A Strang BORDERS AND BERWICK: AN ILLUSTRATED ARCHITECTURAL GUIDE (1994) p22. I MacIvor I.A.M REPORT FOR HBC (1972). NMRS photographic records

About Listed Buildings

Listing is the way that a building or structure of special architectural or historic interest is recognised by law through the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings of special architectural or historic interest using the criteria published in the Historic Environment Scotland Policy Statement.

The information in the listed building record gives an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building(s). It is not a definitive historical account or a complete description of the building(s). The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

The only legal part of the listing is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing and if a number or name is missing from a listing address it may still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing can also cover structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage of the building, such as boundary walls, gates, gatepiers, ancillary buildings etc. The planning authority is responsible for advising on what is covered by the listing including the curtilage of a listed building. Since 1 October 2015 we have been able to exclude items from a listing. If part of a building is not listed, it will say that it is excluded in the statutory address and in the statement of special interest in the listed building record. The statement will use the word 'excluding' and quote the relevant section of the Historic Environment Scotland Act 2014. Some earlier listed building records may use the word 'excluding', but if the Act is not quoted, the record has not been revised to reflect current legislation.

If you want to alter, extend or demolish a listed building you need to contact your planning authority to see if you need listed building consent. The planning authority advises on the need for listed building consent and they also decide what a listing covers. The planning authority is the main point of contact for all applications for listed building consent.

Find out more about listing and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8716 or at


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Printed: 16/02/2019 17:45