Benjamin Brecknell Turner
Albumen Print from paper negative
Museum no. PH.20-1982
© Victoria and Albert Museum, London
This timber framed dovecote was used to keep doves or pigeons for their fresh meat and eggs. The birds, that nested in slots built along the tall inside walls, were reached by a ladder. By the 19th century most new dovecotes were built as decorative features. This ancient example may have been in use as a store by the time it was photographed by Turner. Rustic equipment adds interest to the scene: the thatched shelter in need of repair, a hand made tip-cart on the right and, in the foreground, a flat roller for compressing earth with logs placed on top to add extra weight.
The dovecot has long disappeared, and its location to the east of Court Cottage is almost forgotten. This photograph emphasises the value of Turner's pictures as historical and archaeological records of lost buildings.