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Dovecote At Dale House
Dale House, Westerdale Halkirk Parish
House, Westerdale Halkirk Parish Beehive doocot of four steps - the inward
batter is so gentle that it appears externally like four cylinders placed
one on top of another. The cote is rubble built with mud mortar and stands
in the walled garden of Dale House beside the Thurso river. The garden
wall has a gap to accommodate the cote which fills the breach left, and
antedates the wall.
Internally, the cote, like that at Freswick, resembles more the straw bee skep than the bottle kiln the, internal form producing a funnel towards the apex favoured in Moray and Banff/Buchan. The apex entrance is large and is the only ingress for the birds. The cote is in reasonable repair.
I am sure that this cote pre-dates Dale House (early eighteenth century) and suggest a seventeenth century date. This cote, with the chapel on the same site, may suggest an earlier house of pretension.
Country Houses In Caithness