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main image Doocot, Kilspindie, Perthshire
Most doocots in Scotland were built between the 16th and 18th centuries and are of two types: lectern – like this one, and beehive – round-shaped like old types of beehive.

Only landowners could build them so they became status symbols. The birds were a source of fresh meat, especially in winter, and their droppings made good fertiliser.

The birds came and went through flight holes in the triangular roof dormers. The zig-zag line of projecting stonework is a 'rat course', designed to discourage rats from scaling and entering the building.

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