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Living like a bird

Updated: Nov 1, 2022

As pigeons and doves were an important food source throughout history, dovecotes were erected to house the birds. These were kept for their eggs and meat and owning a dovecote was a sign of privilege – for this reason many stately homes and manor houses have dovecotes on their lands.

willington dovecote

In the Bedford area, Ickwell Bury’s dovecote survived the fire that burnt down the original Georgian mansion and is renowned for its revolving mechanism that allowed ease of access to the nests. The vast outstanding 16th century stone dovecote at Willington is all that remains from the Tudor structure. With two rooms and space for 1,500 nesting birds, the dovecote would have provided about 20,000 chicks each year. It’s now owned by the National Trust and a great spot for bird watching.

Lofts are like dovecotes, small loft spaces underneath pitched roofs can be transformed into cozy spaces, it’s like sleeping in a bird’s nest. Living in Bedford, you may dream up the concept of converting your loft into a bedroom. It’s a great idea, the ideal opportunity to create a fun room and the most cost-effective way to add extra living space to a home without building over the garden, unlike most extensions. The new room within the roof can benefit from sunlight for much of the day, make the most of any views and can have tremendous character due to the interesting roof shape.

When it comes to designing your loft conversion, it’s key to choose a designer such as an architectural technologist who will discuss your requirements, measure your house, produce some workable schemes for you to consider, deal with planning permission if required and building regulations approval from Bedford Council and recommends builders for competitive tenders.

See loft conversion case studies at and if you live in Bedford, you may want to think of creating a dovecote and feel snug and privileged.

Written by Emmanuelle Clement – Building Tectonics Ltd.

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