Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing under the Planning (Listing Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 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. The further details below the 'Address/Name of Site' are provided for information purposes only.

Address/Name of Site


Status: Designated


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Date Added
Local Authority
Planning Authority
Aberdour (Fife)
NT 20310 88146
320310, 688146


17th century. Large, double-bay, rectangular-plan lectern dovecot. Random rubble sandstone, dressed ashlar quoins, stepped stone rat course/alighting ledge remains. Entrance elevation to SE; enlarged doorway to left, original, chamfered ashlar surround to right doorway, relieving arch set above. Pair of flight holes above rat course/alighting ledge; centred above each door (blocked flight hole to left). Remnant of moulded eaves course to far right. Plain gable walls with stepped rat course/alighting ledge; SW gable partially remains. Tall NW wall with continuous rat course. Formerly slated lean-to roof, now roofless, (2002). Crowstepped gable to NE partially remains. Interior, infilled with rubble and vegetation, stone nesting boxes to elevations.

Statement of Special Interest

NOTES: This dovecot is the largest of the standing dovecots remaining in the parish (see separate listings), once accommodating more pigeons than any of its neighbours. The two doorways suggest that the dovecot could have contained two separate chambers, however the nesting boxes run the full way along the back elevation with no visible divide, inferring that there was just one large chamber with two entrances. It was documented by the RCAHMS in 1928 that above one of the doors, most likely the left, was a panel bearing the inscription '1688' and the monogram 'W.S.M.O.' Aberdour and surrounding lands is divided between the old feudal estates of the Earls of Morton (Easter Aberdour) and the Earls of Moray (Wester Aberdour). The dovecots throughout the parish served the Moray and Morton estates, not only acting as valuable sources of meat and manure but also as visible symbols of the wealth and status of the landowners (after 1617 only landowners who had considerable lands were permitted to build dovecots). When the dovecot was previously surveyed in 1979 there were 1382 stone nesting boxes.



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. 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.

About Listed Buildings

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Listing is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for buildings of special architectural or historic interest as set out in the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings which are found to be of special architectural or historic interest using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Listed building records provide an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building which has been identified by its statutory address. The description and additional information provided are supplementary and have no legal weight.

These records are not definitive historical accounts or a complete description of the building(s). If part of a building is not described it does not mean it is not listed. 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 legal part of the listing is the address/name of site which is known as the statutory address. Other than the name or address of a listed building, further details are provided for information purposes only. Historic Environment Scotland does not accept any liability for any loss or damage suffered as a consequence of inaccuracies in the information provided. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing. Even if a number or name is missing from a listing address it will still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing also applies to buildings or structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage (or land) of the listed building as long as they were erected before 1 July 1948.

While Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating listed buildings, the planning authority is responsible for determining what is covered by the listing, including what is listed through curtilage. However, for listed buildings designated or for listings amended from 1 October 2015, legal exclusions to the listing may apply.

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 1997 Act. 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 subsequent legislation.

Listed building consent is required for changes to a listed building which affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest. The relevant planning authority is the point of contact for applications for listed building consent.

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