Dovecotes By Granddad Rob Designs

Collection: The Windsor Dovecotes


Since I began in 1979, I would estimate to have made over a thousand dovecotes, so feel fully justified in saying I think I have got the hang of it. The first Dovecote I made was so bad I took an axe to it, but I lost that axe and the need to wield it long ago. There are things to know about doves and their dovecote needs, some features are necessary and others not so much, but which is which is for me to know. 


Firstly, consider where the dovecote needs to be sited for you to be able to see and appreciated from your favoured vantage point. Dovecotes are best situated in a sunny spot and away from anything a predator might use to gain access to the nests (tree, fence, shed etc.).


We do supply an instruction sheet but to give a quick guide. Dig a hole with ‘slip trench’. Assemble the two-part post and screw the finial on the top of the dovecote. With the dovecote laying on its side insert the post into the central shaft within the dovecote. Upend the dovecote and back fill the hole. Fit our under turf stabilisers and continue back filling, then relay the turf. NO concrete required, trust me, I have put up a LOT of dovecotes and never once resorted to concreting.


In the same way, a split cane fishing rod is stronger than an uncut cane. I make my dovecote posts from selected sections which I laminate together to form an entire post. This makes it extremely strong and as the sections are individually pressure treated, it has multiple layers of protection underground.


Doves are relatively easy to look after, requiring a single daily feed and access to clean water to drink and bath, then just leave them to their own devices. If required we can supply an optional feed platter that fits around the dovecote post just under the house. Once you have homed a single pair they and their offspring go on to fill the dovecote. The doves eject the young at about six to eight weeks and then nest again. These newly fledge birds are driven off the dovecote by the established pairs, so tend not to hang around.

FEED PLATTER (optional)

Feeding the doves on the dovecote has two prime advantages. Firstly, it strengthens the doves bond with the dovecote. Secondly, as doves are ground feeders they are easy prey. Getting the doves to routinely feed off the ground helps to stop them becoming ‘cat fodder’.

BLOCKERS (optional)

A good number of our dovecotes are destined to be garden features, so initially they will be unoccupied. To that end, we offer blockers that effectively bar any bird, doves, pigeons and such from taking up residence. The blockers are black and set behind the arched doors to retain the aesthetics of the archways. They do not stop airflow so the dovecote stays sweat. If at any time you wish to revert the dovecote back to accommodating doves, the blockers are removable.


Dove wise there appears to be no advantage or disadvantage if a dovecote is painted or not, so it is a personal preference. Unpainted dovecotes look best in a less formal setting and the white doves against a naturally weathered silver grey dovecote do standout. Whereas white doves against a white dovecote, perhaps not so much. Painted dovecotes however are best suited where the dovecote is a focal feature in the landscaping. A white dovecote set against an evergreen backdrop literately looks outstanding. We can if required paint the dovecote in a colour of your choosing (call for details).


The dovecote needs cleaning once a year and because the birds breed all year there are likely to be nests with unfledged swabs, so cleaning will need to happen over several weeks. Alternate walls of the dovecote are removable allowing easy access to the interior for cleaning purposes. Remove most of the old nesting material and wash down the exterior with warm water. If you are repainting or treating your dovecote, it is best done on a warm day, so it dries quickly.

TREATER (optional, for unpainted dovecotes)

As is the case with all our builds, the dovecotes are made using pressure treated timbers. This optional treater is a secondary coating that forms a water shedding ‘overcoat’ over the dovecote so repelling the moisture which over time will facilitate rotting. The overcoat is animal safe, can be applied to damp timber and dries clear.
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