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East Linton, Scotland

Phantassie Doocot

A curious structure built just for the birds. 

This odd little round building at the edge of a Scottish field is not an unusual barn or eclectic domicile – it is in fact a very well preserved 16th century dovecote (here shortened to “doocot”), or nesting home for doves.

Dovecotes were once very common across Europe, particularly at manor houses and estates, where birds were kept for food and eggs, as well as using their droppings for crop fertilizer. 

The architecture of the Phantassie dovecote is unusual, topped with a horse-shoe shaped parapet. It is 56 feet in circumference with 4 1/2 foot this walls to protect the residents from the elements. Inside, there are 16 entrances and 544 nooks for nesting birds.

It is now a protected historic structure, overseen by the National Trust for Scotland.