West Dean, West Sussex
Valley Builders were fortunate enough to be contracted to undertake the restoration of c14th century Dovecote at Westdean.
The Dovecote had fallen into considerable decay over several decades with the roof structure having completely disappeared into a pile of rubble many years ago. This left the structure exposed to the elements which had destroyed the majority of the chalk nesting boxes along with some of the external stone walling.
Our remit was to restore the derelict structure back to a working Dovecote using traditional materials and methods of construction. Replacement stone was used to reconstruct the external walls, new chalk blocks were brought to site out of which new nesting boxes were carved and fitted. A new circular oak ring beam and oak roof structure was formed on site and the new roof was tiled with handmade clay tiles from Battle.
Internally we reproduced a new wooden potence revolving ladder which enables access to the nesting boxes; all of which copied to original historic detail.
Winner of the Sussex Heritage Trust Award for Landscape and Garden.