Historic Scotland

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History

Corstorphine Dovecot was built in the 1500s as part of the Corstorphine Castle estate. The castle was built by Sir Adam Forrester between 1375 and 1405, and mostly demolished in about 1797. Nothing of the castle remains today, and its grounds are covered by modern housing.

Pigeons are known to have been a valued resource in Scotland from at least the time of James IV. They were kept primarily for their meat but their dung also had various uses from manuring the land to the production of saltpetre – an ingredient in gunpowder!

The dovecot itself is in excellent condition. It’s a good example of a beehive-shaped dovecot, though with a flatter roof than most. It has more than 1,000 nesting boxes arranged in 28 rows.

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