These amazing structures (Dovecotes UK. Columbariums, Roman. Palomares, Spain) are an integral part of the Tarn landscape, and as such have been here for hundreds of years. In the Middle Ages Pigeons provided an essential source of food, when root crops were not available in the winter months to feed cattle. The pigeonnier, being mainly built by the aristocracy and feudal lords, became somewhat of a status symbol as their presence in the rural landscape indicated the owners wealth. A by-product of having pigeon houses was their guano, a rich source of fertiliser for the vineyards, and Saltpeter that proved to be a component of gunpowder.