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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Date Added
Local Authority
Planning Authority
St Andrews
NO 49182 15593
349182, 715593


Possibly early to mid 16th century. Rare large, sandstone rubble beehive type dovecot with steep batter surrounded by modern housing development. 3 rat-courses. Flat roof at 3rd rat-course containing entry ports. Later entry ports above 2nd rat-course to S (see Notes). Low studded timber door at ground level to SW.

Statement of Special Interest

Bogward Dovecot is a rare early beehive type dovecot dating from the early to mid 16th century. Until the 1960's the dovecot formed part of Bogward Farm and the 2nd Edition Ordnance Survey map of 1893-5 shows the close proximity of the dovecot in relation to the farm. The farm has since been demolished and a modern housing estate constructed on the site.

The use of dovecots was established in Britain from Normans. In Scotland an Act of Parliament from 1503 required 'everilk lord and lard (laird) mak thame (them) to have dowcatis' (R G Cant p143) as part of land management and to provide a welcome source of winter food. At this time the land containing the dovecot at Bogward belonged to the Priory of St Andrews and was let out to local farmers. It was the Priory that benefited from the meat and eggs of the pigeons while the accumulated manure provided a natural lime-rich fertilizer.

The 'beehive type' at Bogward is so named from its resemblance to bee-skeps or hives. The use of rat-courses was to prevent rats from climbing up the exterior and stealing eggs or even young birds while the third course at the wallhead also acted as a ledge for birds entering. The entry ports at the S have been identified (R G Cant p146) as a later addition.

It is understood that the interior contains 800 nesting-boxes and a potence: a rotating ladder, attached to a stone plinth in the middle of the floor, reaching to the top of the dovecot enabling access to the nesting-boxes. As is common in dovecots the lower levels of the interior are kept clear of boxes to allow for the build up of manure. The potence was renewed and the building restored by the St Andrews Preservation Trust from 1962-74. RCAHMS Archaeology Notes from October 1956 describes the building as being in 'good condition' with the exception of the fallen-in roof which was subsequently reinstated by the Trust along with a new door and re-pointing work.




1st Edition Ordnance Survey Map (1852-5). 2nd Edition Ordnance Survey Map (1893-5). R G Cant "Doocots of St Andrews and its Neighbourhood" (1983) in Three Decades of Historical Notes (ed M Innes & J Whelan, 1991), p143-147. St Andrews Preservation Trust leaflet Discovering Doocots. St Andrews Preservation Trust Photographic Archive (Ref: Bog 1-13). RCAHMS (Archaeology Notes Ref: NO41NE 11).

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.

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Printed: 23/01/2019 13:54