Scottish Doocots, a food source for high status homes in times past

(Above image is a capture of a 16th century doocot at Linlithgow, near Edinburgh.)

Tonight, I am focusing on doocots which, from the medieval period through to the 18th century, were to be found in the vicinity of grand houses and castles across Scotland.In standard English the equivalent is 'dovecote' or 'pigeon house'.

Doocots incorporated nest holes, sometimes up to 2000, which facilitated breeding for large populations of pigeons and hence a food source (meat and eggs) for the local residents. This was at a time when food had to be sourced locally.

15th century doocot at Dunure Castle, 45 miles south of Glasgow

Interior of doocot at Dirleton Castle (22 miles east of Edinburgh) illustrating concentric rows of nests

Doocot at Eglinton Country Park, Ayrshire, 30 miles S.W. of Glasgow.

Doocot at Dumfries House, Cumnock, 33 miles south of Glasgow

Doocot at Hill of Tarvit, Fife, eastern Scotland


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