The Allington wall mounted dovecote

As is the case with lots of our housing, the customers are the catalysts for a new design. The Allington six nest wall mounted dovecote is a classic example of just this.

In about 1982/3 I was working in my workshop, the front door of which opened out onto a quiet country lane (Forsham Lane, Sutton Valance). A small red car trundled past, stopped and reversed. A quietly spoken American gentleman requested directions to a lady selling ducks a little further down the lane. Directions were given and away he went. An hour later the little red car reappeared, duck buying I assumed completed. Little red car stopped and out gets ‘Mr Quietly Spoken’ who ambled into my workshop. (it was our garage, but ‘workshop’ sounds more artisan) His question “do you make these?” seemed a little superfluous as other than him, I was the only other bod there and fitting the roof to a large dovecote as we spoke. However it served to break the ice and we began to talk. It became apparent that Mr Quietly Spoken actually required a wall mounted dovecote, which at the time I had never made. However not being about to let a sale slip away I suggested, more in a panic rather than any considered judgement (nothing has changed) that if I were to cut a big cote like this one, gesturing towards the cote that now stood between us, down the middle top to bottom, cap the cut with a new back wall., it would create a wall mounted dovecote. “If you can do that” said Mr Quietly Spoken, “I will buy both halves”

It transpired that Mr Quietly Spoken was in fact a Friar on a visit from the USA and staying with the monks at Allington Castle near Maidstone. He told me that the monks at Allington were the keepers of a possibly unique breed of chocolate brown doves that were in need of a new home.

So it was that a chance encounter with a duck seeking monk my panic design driven by the need to not lose a sale led to the creation of the Allington Wall Cote.

The friars helped us hang the cotes high up on the medieval castle walls. It still makes me smile when I recall brother Allias (‘Mr Quietly Spoken’) up a ladder, boring into ye-old rag stone with my hammer drill.

If by chance either you or somebody else you know of has a hankering to have a dovecote , or anything else we make. Than as starters please go to
www.granddadrobdesigns.co.uk where you’ll find our current repertoire of animal and bird housing. However if you have bespoke requirements, or need some advice then e-mail rob@granddadrobdesigns.co.uk. or call me on 01233 822457. You are welcome to visit the workshop (best to call first please) Goreside Farm, Great Chart, KENT . TN26 1JU (choose SAT NAV option PURCHASE LANE) and bring biscuits!!

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