Dovecot Leaflet (low resolution) 450kb
The Dovecot or Dovehouse is a 300 year old building in the field
about 25 yards south of the junction of Station Road and the High Street. After
much delay Foxton Parish Council working through the Friends of the Dovecot
meadow project have successfully arranged for the restoration of this last
remaining dovecot in the village. The meadow around it is being managed to
create a chalk grassland environment as a village amenity. Unfortunately there
were no traces of
the internal features that you would expect of a dovecote, and as far as the
memories of the older residents goes, although they refer to it as the dovecot, it
is remembered as being used as a grain store or for stabling. You will sometimes come
across it being call Hockeys Field (that was the name of one of the horses that
were stabled there in recent times). In the1830s when Enclosure came to
Foxton, and the land was divided up among the populace, the field to the east,
towards the shop, was listed as "Jenkins's Close" and the field to the west of
the hollow way or lane up the middle " Jenkins's Lane", was listed as " Dovehouse Close". The Inclosure Award mentions Dovehouse Close and the "Dovehouse
thereon". Some estate agent's details of 1904 describe the building as a 'pigeon
house'. Interesting archaeological pottery has been found in Jenkins's close.
Present day activities have included an earthwork survey (mapping the humps and bumps), and geophysics surveys (report 2.6Mb), to try and elucidate the house platforms that are obviously there without disturbing the ground by digging trenches. We've just (2009) unearthed a mysterious flint floor (or maybe two) which fell into disuse and was then levelled off with a chalk surface which also fell into disuse. Nothing has been found yet to shed any light on how old these are, or why, or how they were used.
Other present day activities have comprised getting a 25 year lease from the County Council to allow the village to be able to take advantage of a LHI grant and grants from South Cambridgeshire District Council to restore the building before it succumbed to the weather and a 25 year lease to enable us to revitalise the meadow. Work started on restoring the plaque above the door on 22nd May 2006. Major works started 28 Aug and finished on 29th Nov 06.
The opening celebration took place on 3rd December 2006 - just in time for its 300th anniversary!
Both the meadow and the building won awards in 2007 and 2008 respectively.
Plaque restoration (left 1970, middle 2000, right 2006)
Planning Applications were made see SCDC planning applications
Some more villagers actively helping would be good, especially those that benefit from the path across the meadow to the village hall!.