Across Glasgow there are numerous contemporary doocots; home to the pigeons of local part-time pigeon breeders. These are not the grandiose stone doocots found on Scottish country estates; a type of doocot which were generally minature towers often resembling architectural follies and built during a period from medieval times until the 19th century. Oh no, the Glasgow doocots featured over these pages are 20th century and latterly 21st century modern day doocots, built by ordinary people from found, scavanged and recycled materials. These small scale vernacular buildings are generally tucked away hidden from the main thoroughfares and prying eyes, although often one of them can be spotted rising up behind a wall or in a small clearing in unexpected places. Often they are to be found along the old railway lines which have been converted to cycle paths, occasionally in communal or private back gardens, and even less frequently on small corners of public ground beside streets or even in the grounds of the smallest football clubs.
The doocots are all generally of a similar design. Rectangular or square in plan with boxy proportions and most rising upward to take the form of small towers reminescent of urban pillboxes. However rather than the concrete construction of the pillbox with the evil eye of the german hun beaming red from within through the machine gun manned slits like from some Commando comic, instead these are corrugated pigeon tanks with slits at the top manned by the prime puffed out chest parading pigeons, the prized soldiers of the pigeon breeding fraternity.
The Glasgow doocots are predominantly constructed of found or salvaged materials, generally comprising of a rough timber frame which is then boarded out. Corrugated metal sheet or other pre-formed metal sheet is then used to clad the walls and provide a waterproof and protective layer. The roofs are sloped to shed the rain and covered with offcuts of asphalt roofing nailed on for waterproofing or the same metal cladding as used for the walls is used to provide sheeting for the roof. These small structures are then almost universally painted green and/or black. Some doocots stand alone, others have spawned extra small neighbouring similar constructions and begun to form into minor doocot complexes often fenced off with painted pallet crates which stood on their side and secured to the ground with posts form effective fences to protect the land and prized pigeons within and to delineate the claimed territory from the adjacent public land which it once was part of. One featured doocot on these pages sits as one of several structures, which are collectively fenced in forming a small doocot empire for the pigeon breeder - a single man claiming a piece of publicly owned land as his own and putting it to better use than its real owners who used it as an offcut of purposeful land and somewhere only for one of the municipal lawnmowers to churn over through the summer months.
Despite their location in secluded areas the doocots remain largely immune to vandalism except for some petty graffitti, although one pair of structures featured on these pages has been burnt out. Generally the doocots and their associated constructions remain untouched by any local miscreants. Thankfully the city council also turn a blind eye to these small buildings leaving the pigeon breeders and their pigeons in peace.
Featured below and over these pages are eighteen doocot sites, more have been found and photographed, with edited photographs to added to the site as time allows, if you've seen anymore, feel free to send the locations to the email contact for this site: email@example.com
The featured doocots which appear below over the next pages are in an east to west order as they appear across the city.