A circular dovecote with about 240 boxes , 12th-13th century ? or of a later date.
The Domed roof originally had a central opening.
Recently restored (2013).
The dovecote is north-west of Manorbier Castle , above the site of a fishpond.
During the medieval period large dovecotes were built on manors, at monasteries and
castles . The right to build a dovecote was traditionally reserved to the lord of the manor,
and resented by tenant farmers as the lord's doves could eat their weight in corn every day.
Pigeons were an important part of medieval diet, young doves or pigeons (squabs)
supplied fresh meat throughout the year, while older birds were mainly used to lay eggs,
with some culling occurring before winter.
The birds were also bred for their manure, and in the 16th and 17th centuries for
saltpetre - a component of dung - which was used to make gunpowder.
This Dovecote has no "potence", a revolving wooden pole, mounted on a plinth, with arms
onto which ladders could be attached and suspended a few feet off the ground.
This enabled the eggs and squabs to be collected from the upper tiers of nest boxes
without having to move a conventional ladder around the wall.
Location: SS 062.978