Answering the question – what is a dovecote?
What is a Dovecote?
A dovecote is a structure designed to house doves, pigeons, and other small birds dependent on your own preference. These structures provide a safe environment for pigeons to nest in, as well as creating a clear home base for the birds, this encourages them to settle and make a dovecote their ideal home.
Modern dovecotes purchased today are often used to house racing pigeons and other hobby birds including ornamental doves. The keeping of ornamental doves in garden settings started to become popular during the 1920s, and this trend has continued right through to the present day.
Over the years, there has been a vast array of names for these beautiful structures, examples include: dovecot, dove cote, dovecote, pigeon cote, dove house, Doocote and many more. You may be pleased to know, they all mean the same thing and derive from language and regional differences. A note on terminology: a dovecote or pigeon house may appear in English-language documents as a culverhouse, in Scots as a doocot and in Latin as a columbarium.
Historically, pigeons and doves were an important food source for the wealthy, providing tender meat and eggs. These beautiful birds were also used to carry messages, and their manure was a great form of fertilizer. People kept varying numbers of birds in their dovecotes, in some parts of the world a flock of doves was a status symbol. In some regions of the United Kingdom, dovecote construction was regulated and ownership of the birds was restricted to people of a certain social rank. Some very fine examples of ornate dovecotes can be found at old manors in Europe.