Naunton Dovecote - Gloucestershire
Visit this unique historic building in the heart of the North Cotswolds and observe the development of its function through the centuries, resulting in its survival.
The Dovecote is open at all times during daylight hours, and is free to visit.
Naunton Dovecote, standing in a beautiful little valley beside the River Windrush, is a unique combination of a beautifully constructed Grade II* Listed Building and recently restored agricultural engineering features typical of a farm. It is situated in a rural location in the heart of the North Cotswolds, adapted through history to the economic circumstances of the time, thus ensuring its survival to the present day in a virtually unspoilt form.
The site incorporates the large Dovecote building itself with approximately 1,200 nestholes, being one of the largest of the four-gabled type known in this country. A lean-to addition, originally used as a cornmill for animal feed, was added to the Dovecote before 1882. The beautifully crafted cut stone horseshoe shaped headrace to this former mill has recently been excavated.
Come and see the Turbine House, built next to the river in 1929, to generate hydroelectricity for the farmer and his friends
Also renovated is the ruin of a small Turbine House containing a Francis-type turbine, which was built in approximately 1929, using part of the river flow to provide hydroelectricity to the nearby Manor House.
Both these water-powered features were driven by water channelled through leats dug from the River Windrush and are interesting examples of agricultural/industrial use of water power.
A more detailed description of all these features is on the History page.
Rest from your walk at this beautiful and tranquil spot and see the adaptations made to this building during the centuries – a rare example of rural industrial archaeology
Situated as it is at a meeting point of the public footpaths, Wardens Way and Diamond Way, and closely linked to Windrush Way, it is a splendid resting point for walkers, providing a rural farmyard where they can contemplate this lovely building in its delightfully unspoilt agricultural setting.
The site is open to the public during daylight hours and visitors can enjoy the local flowers, birds and the River Windrush as well as seeing the refurbished Turbine House alongside the Dovecote building itself.
This rare and beautiful building is fascinating on many levels to both adults and children – the beauty of the unusual Cotswold stone building – the use of the river to create a small cornmill on the side – an opportunity to observe first hand how water power was used to generate electricity in the 1930s – a tranquil place to rest and at different times of the year observe water plants (flag iris, purple loosestrife etc.) and birds, (egrets, herons, dippers, kingfishers, wagtails etc.)
In the near future there will be a working model of a water-powered turbine, such as the one which is on site, to explain to visitors how electricity is produced from water power. These features are of interest to children and adults alike.
There is no parking at the Dovecote, but it is only a short walk from the centre of the village. Please respect the quiet rural nature of the site.
The Naunton Dovecote Trust acquired the site in 1999 in order to secure its future following a planning application to convert the buildings into a bed and breakfast complex. The Trust is funded by donations from their regular supporters (‘Friends’), a donation box and sale of their Dovecote merchandise (see other menu items on the site).