Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The Oak in a Dovecote

In the old days, the possession of a dovecote was a symbol of status and power, and only the nobles had the privilege of owning one.

When feudalism in France was abolished on 4 August 1789, the rights to keep dovecotes were thrown out as well. Thousands of dovecotes all across France fell into disuse. 

An abandoned dovecote in the town of Béceleuf, in the department of Deux-Sèvres lost its roof letting in rainwater and sunlight and a young oak tree grew. This dovecote has 2700 recesses or wall openings and could house approximately 5000 pigeons. The tree is now a hundred years old. It has outgrown the stone cylinder that protected it from predators when it was young, today forming a crown over its head.

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