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The Dovecote - 28 Church Road Willington

The Dovecote in Church Road about 1920 [X535/1]
The Dovecote in Church Road about 1920 [X535/1]

The Bedfordshire Historic Environment Record [HER] contains information on the county’s historic buildings and landscapes and summaries of each entry can now be found online as part of the Heritage Gateway website. The entry for the Dovecote in Church Road [HER 5420], today numbered 28 Church Road, and not to be confused with the famous Willington Dovecote in Church End notes that the original building, now much added to, is late 17th or early 18th century and is constructed of roughcast. The lower part of the roof is hipped, the upper part gabled. The structure comprises two storeys. It was formerly Grade III listed but that category of listing has now been deleted.

The dovecote stood on the glebe, that is, the land owned by Willington church. In 1834 the Vicarage was declared to be unfit for habitation and the vicar's home was moved to a farmhouse, today’s 32 Church Road, the tenant of the farmhouse being moved into the dovecote which formed part of the farm buildings [ABF2 page 92].

28 Church Road February 2010
28 Church Road February 2010

The Rating and Valuation Act 1925 specified that every building and piece of land in the country was to be assessed to determine its rateable value. Willington, like much of the county was appraised in 1927 and the valuer visiting The Dovecote [DV1/C154/31] found it owned by the Vicar of Willington, still as part of the glebe, and occupied by S. E. Scotton, who paid 3/6 per week in rent.

The plaster and tiled property stood in just under a tenth of an acre and comprised a living room and kitchen with two bedrooms above. The valuer commented: “Very poor place”. Today’s impressive property is almost unrecognisable. The original building stands at the south-west corner of the property, the remainder being 20th century additions.

28 Church Road - The Dovecote - December 2010
28 Church Road - The Dovecote - December 2010