17th century. Rectangular-plan, 2-chamber, lectern-type dovecot, on steeply sloping site to E of mansion house. Rubble masonry, margined angles, graded stone slate roof. Dormered flight entries. Rat course to rear, stepped at sides.
S ELEVATION: 2 entrance doorways with margined and rebated surrounds, door pins intact; recess for armorial panel; 2 dormer flight entries with catslide roofs.
INTERIOR (seen 2011): near complete set of stone slab nesting boxes lining walls.
Statement of Special Interest
A-Group consisting of Auchterhouse Old Mansion House; Auchterhouse Dovecot; Auchterhouse Laundry; Auchterhouse Lodge and Gatepiers; Auchterhouse Stable, Coach House and Squash Court; Road Bridge over Auchterhouse Burn and Weir Adjacent to Road Bridge (see separate list entries).
The dovecot is an important and rare surviving example of a near-complete 17th century lecture-type dovecot. The building is contemporary with the first stage of development of Auchterhouse mansion house (see separate listing), and is an important component of the early estate.
Auchterhouse dovecot is a lecturn dovecot, which was rectangular with mono-pitched roof and usually, as is the case here, positioned to face S. The lectern type replaced the beehive design in 16th and 17th centuries, and because of its square or rectangular plan had much greater flexibility. It could be divided into 2 or 4 independent chambers, thereby increasing the internal wall area for nesting boxes. Such a design was also more suitable for decorations such as marriage stones, heraldic panels and armorial designs. The heraldic emblem was probably removed to the west dormer at the south elevation of the Mansion House in 1924.
Auchterhouse was an important country seat which passed successively by marriage through the families of the Ogilvys of Airlie, Earls of Buchan, Earls of Strathmore, and returning to the Ogilvys in 1715. James Stewart, 1st Earl of Buchan, was the nephew of James III of Scotland, who in 1469 was given the titles of Earl of Buchan and Lord Auchterhouse.
Auchterhouse, Old Mansion House incorporates fragments of a 13th century castle, which was owned by Sir John Ramsey, a close associate of William Wallace. In 1308 Ramsey entertained Wallace and 300 of his followers at the property when he returned to Scotland from Flanders. The ruinous tower to the SE of the house is called Wallace Tower (Scheduled Monument), in commemoration of this visit.
Statutory address and list description revised 2012. Formerly listed as "Auchterhouse Old Mansion House Hotel Dovecot".