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HER Number:MDV56362
Name:Dovecote, 61-65 Fore Street, Totnes


Excavations at 61-65 Fore Street between 1984-1985 recorded a round dovecote probably dating to the 13th century.


Grid Reference:SX 803 604
Map Sheet:SX86SW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishTotnes
DistrictSouth Hams
Ecclesiastical ParishTOTNES

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX86SW/127/3

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • DOVECOTE (XIII to XIV - 1201 AD to 1350 AD (Between))

Full description

Davison, A. and Henderson, C.G., 1985, Excavations at Fore Street, Totnes, 1984-85, 61-62 (Article in Monograph). SDV340327.

Excavations at 61-65 Fore Street in 1985 recorded a probably 13th century round dovecote at the northern end of the site. This had an internal diameter of around 2.5 metres and a cob wall, incorporating straw chaff which was set in a foundation trench 1.4 metres wide. Both the inner and outer wall faces were at some stage provided with drystone revetments. Inside the building were the possible remnants of a stone slab floor associated with a central pit thought to have been the setting for a post supporting a revolving ladder used to climb to the nesting boxes.
It may have stood on the land of Totnes Priory, but the dovecot is located some distance from the Priory buildings and it would have been likely to have stood more conveniently for the kitchen, as seems to have been the case on manorial sites. On rural manors, the right to possess a dovecot was reserved for the lord of the manor. Dovecots were to be found occasionally in medieval towns.
The dovecot was demolished in the late 13th or early 14th century, and by about this period at the latest, the original tenement had been extended to incorporate its site. Figure 39 shows the 13th century dovecot in the course of excavation.
Map also object based on this source.

Keystone Historic Buildings Consultants, 1996, Assessment of Civic Centre Area, Totnes (Report - Assessment). SDV340328.

Ordnance Survey, 2013, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV350786.

Pink, F., 2014, Devon Extensive Urban Survey Project. Rapid Assessment of Archaeological Interventions (Report - non-specific). SDV357343.

An excavation was undertaken at 61-65 Fore Street, Totnes by the Exeter Museums Archaeological Field Unit in 1985.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV340327Article in Monograph: Davison, A. and Henderson, C.G.. 1985. Excavations at Fore Street, Totnes, 1984-85. Exeter Archaeology 1984/5. A4 Stapled + Digital. 61-62.
SDV340328Report - Assessment: Keystone Historic Buildings Consultants. 1996. Assessment of Civic Centre Area, Totnes. Keystone Historic Buildings Consultants Report. K477. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV350786Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2013. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #95540 ]
SDV357343Report - non-specific: Pink, F.. 2014. Devon Extensive Urban Survey Project. Rapid Assessment of Archaeological Interventions. AC Archaeology Report. ACD473/1/1. Digital.

Associated Monuments

MDV9107Related to: Chapel of St Nicholas, Fore Street, Totnes (Building)
MDV103574Related to: Medieval Vicarage, 61-65 Fore Street, Totnes (Monument)
MDV103553Related to: Saxo-Norman and Late-Medieval Occupation at 61-65 Fore Street, Totnes (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV6636 - Excavation, 61-65 Fore Street, Totnes

Date Last Edited:Mar 4 2020 11:31AM