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Listed Building

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site only. All other information in the record is not statutory.


Status: Removed


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  • Category: A
  • Group Category Details: A - See Notes
  • Date Added: 02/05/1973
  • Date Removed: 17/04/2018


  • Local Authority: Fife
  • Planning Authority: Fife
  • Parish: Aberdour (Fife)

National Grid Reference

  • NGR: NT 19307 85400
  • Coordinates: 319307, 685400

Removal Reason

The designation of this structure as a listed building will be removed as part of the Dual Designation 2A project. It will continue to be recognised as being of national importance through its designation as a scheduled monument.


16th century, renovated 1990s. Circular beehive dovecot. Coursed rubble rising in 4 stages. Rat course to 1st stage, rat course/alighting ledge to remaining stages. Small entrance to N, weather table supported by square corbels above. Interior, walls built in converging rings, circular opening to roof. Five steps down to stone floor, foundation for potence visible, stone nesting boxes to full height, central flight hole.

Statement of Special Interest

NOTES: SCHEDULED ANCIENT MONUMENT. A-Group with Aberdour Castle, Aberdour Castle West Doorway, Aberdour Castle Walled Garden, Aberdour Sundial. The dovecot stands to the S of the castle and is first recorded in a charter of 1540. Of all the dovecots to be found in the parish (see separate listings), the distinctive beehive shape denotes its primacy as first in date. Beehive dovecots are usually squat in appearance, however this example is more elegant than most. The entrance is typically small for security and to minimise the potential of birds escaping. It is rather unusual that five steps lead down into the chamber, most tend to be on ground floor level. The floor shows signs of where the potence stood, being a revolving ladder providing access to the nesting boxes so that eggs and birds could be easily gathered. The beehive design was superseded in the 16th and 17th centuries by dovecots of square and rectangular plan, such examples can be found within the parish (see separate listings). Dovecots served not only as valuable sources of meat and manure they also acted as visible symbols of wealth and status. When the dovecot was surveyed in 1979 it was recorded that there were 597 stone nesting boxes. For further information see Aberdour Castle list description.



REFERENCES: 1st edition (Fife) Ordnance Survey map (1856). RCAHMS, INVENTORY OF MONUMENTS OF FIFE, KINROSS AND CLACKMANNAN (1933) p21. A Robertson, OLD DOVECOTES IN AND AROUND EDINBURGH in the old Edinburgh Club, Vol 25 (1945) pp146-203. M Apted, ABERDOUR CASTLE (1966) p20-21, 28-29. J Gifford, FIFE (1988) p64. U Robertson, PIGEONS AS A SOURCE OF FOOD IN 18th CENTURY SCOTLAND in review of Scottish Culture, No 4 (1988) pp89-103. T Buxbaum, SCOTTISH DOOCOTS (1992) pp1-32.

Historic Environment Scotland Properties

About Designations

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 statutory listing address is the legal part of the listing. 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.

Listing covers both the exterior and the interior. Listing can cover structures not mentioned 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. For information about curtilage see 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 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: 23/04/2018 01:13