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Historic England Research Records

Taynton Parva

Hob Uid: 113453
Location :
Gloucestershire
Forest Of Dean
Taynton
Grid Ref : SO7481322876
Summary : The earthwork remains of the Deserted Medieval Village of Taynton Parva, which include a motte and bailey castle, the site of a church (possibly that destroyed by Royalists in 1643), a homestead moat, fishponds and a swannery. The castle comprises a weak motte with a main bailey to the west, and a larger bailey encircling this situated to the south-east. There is a possible ringwork as evidenced by the awkward fit of the motte within its ditch. The site was surveyed by the Dean Archaeological Group in 1995. The features are mostly tree-lined and are situated in pasture, although some features are visible as earthworks on aerial photographs, including the swannery, fishponds, and the church platform. Late Iron Age Romano-British pottery has been found on the site, although the nature of the discovery is unclear. This could indicate a complexity and longevity of occupation usually encountered only in urban contexts.
More information : (SO 748228) Earthworks (NR), (SO 74842287) Church (NR) (Site of), (SO 74802292) Moat (NR) (SO 74972298) Moat (NR) (1)

DMV Taynton Parva, SO 749229. (2)

The earthworks which defend this site on all sides except the north were probably built during the Civil War, when Royalist troops were garrisoned at Taynton. This is the site of a church said to have been burnt down during the Civil War. The ancient church of St Lawrence, Taynton, was burnt down by a force of Royalists in 1643. (3-6)

Approaching the site from the SW, the works begin with a large ditched enclosure. There is a shallow pool (? fish pond) on the S of this, and on the E lie the works of the castle comprising a weak motte with its main bailey on the west. Outside this and running round to the south is a larger bailey much obscured on the eastern side. (7)

This complex comprises a motte with bailey and possible further ward to the SE and other outworks of uncertain purpose: the whole laid against the S edge of the flood-plain of a strong stream. The motte fits awkwardly into its surrounding ditch and this possibly represents a recasting of a ringwork. Within the complex the given site of the church is marked by a slight platform at SO 74832290. No other evidence of a DMV is recognisable but a subcircular, presumably homestead, moat to the NE of the complex at SO 74982298 would seem to have marked the site of the manor house. The wooded interior is featureless. Published survey (25") revised. (8)

Listed by Cathcart King. (9)

Field work and documentary research by the Dean Archaeological Group in 1995 concluded that the chronology of the site ranges from circa 1066 to 1643AD. This research is summarised by source (10).

The earthwork remains of the Deserted Medieval Village of Taynton Parva, described by sources 1-10 above, are partially visible as earthworks on aerial photographs. The features are centred at SO 7483 2292, in pasture. They extend over an area, which measures a maximum of 400m east to west, and 315m north to south. Some of the features are tree-lined and are therefore disguised on the available aerial photographs, although the motte, homestead moat, a swannery, a fishpond and features on the church platform are visible as earthworks.

The motte is a circular mound centred at SO7480 2293, the top of which measures 14m in diameter. A small bailey extends to the west and a large ditch surrounds both. Two horse-shoe shaped banks on the outer bailey to the east, at SO 7484 2294 and SO 7484 2296 probably represent the site of buildings within the bailey, as may a rectilinear platform at SO 7484 2297. Two roughly parallel sections of scarp are located to the south-west of the earthwork complex, around SO 7474 2278, and may represent the former extent of a possible third bailey associated with the castle.

The homestead moat is centred at SO 7498 2298 and comprises a ditch which measures between 3m and 7m wide and encloses a central platform. The platform is roughly triangular, but with curved corners, and was found by source 10 to be raised above the level of the surrounding land. Trees on the available aerial photographs obscure its interior, and the fishpond immediately to the south. The moat is situated at the centre of a block of ridge and furrow (see SO 72 SW 50 / UID: 1385326), which may pre-date the moated manor.

The swannery is centred at SO 7471 2294 and is situated in an area marked as "Swan Pools" on the 1840 Taynton Tithe Map (copy in source 10). It comprises an amorphous shallow depression which extends for 157m on a north-east / south-west orientation and measures a maximum of 42m wide. A circular mound, which was probably a nesting site, is situated at SO 7471 2294 and measures 10m in diameter. Several channels within the eastern end of the depression probably link it with the stream to the north, and a leat, which extends for 28m to the south-east, is situated at SO 7471 2290.

A possible fishpond is situated at SO 7483 2283, although it appears to have been partially filled in, since its form on 1947 aerial photographs differs from that surveyed in 1995 by source 10. It comprises a ditch, which measures 4m wide and encloses an area that is rectangular with rounded corners. The fishpond extends for 32m by 24m and is orientated north / south. A large roughly triangular cut feature is centred at SO 7480 2282 and fills the space between this fishpond and the bailey to the west.

The roughly pentagonal church platform is centred at SO 7483 2287 and is defined by scarps on the two westernmost sides. Within the platform is an east / west orientated rectilinear depression, at SO 7484 2289, which measures 13m by 8m and could represent the site of the church. A curvilinear mound measuring 10m by 8.5m is situated to its north-east, at SO 7485 2290.

These features represent different elements of the site's history. (11-14)

Iron Age pottery has been found on the site although it is not clear whether this was stratified or other, or by what method it was found. This could be indicative of a settlement on the site, showing a continued occupation and site complexity normally only found in urban contexts. A medieval ringwork on the site is indicated by the awkward shape of the motte within its ditch, which is demonstrably much more extensive on its western side than on others. (15)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1954
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Source Number : 2
Source : Medieval Village Research Group annual report
Source details :
Page(s) : 46
Figs. :
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Vol(s) : 13 - 1965
Source Number : 11
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : RAF CPE/UK/2110 3414-5 28-MAY-1947
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Source Number : 12
Source : Oblique aerial photograph reference number
Source details : CUCAP (CLZ14) 03-JUN-1980
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Source Number : 13
Source : Oblique aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR SO 7422/11 (23276/19) 07-NOV-2003
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Source Number : 14
Source : Oblique aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR SO 7422/12 (23276/20) 07-NOV-2003
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Source Number : 15
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : 02-Sep-08
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Source Number : 3
Source : Oral information, correspondence (not archived) or staff comments
Source details : Letter EM Clifford 11.10.49
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Source Number : 4
Source : Gloucestershire in National History
Source details :
Page(s) : 115
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Source Number : 5
Source : A New History of Gloucestershire
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Source Number : 6
Source : The Little Guide to Gloucetershire
Source details :
Page(s) : 156
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Source Number : 7
Source : Oral information, correspondence (not archived) or staff comments
Source details : DJC King March 1956
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Source Number : 8
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 DRB 11-JAN-71
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Source Number : 9
Source : Castellarium anglicanum : an index and bibliography of the castles in England, Wales and the islands. Volume I : Anglesey - Montgomery
Source details :
Page(s) : 183
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 1
Source Number : 10
Source : Glevensis : Gloucestershire and District Archaeological Research Group review
Source details : "Taynton Parva" by Sarah Williams
Page(s) : 27-32
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 30 (1997)

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Late Iron Age
Display Date : Late Iron Age
Monument End Date : 43
Monument Start Date : -100
Monument Type : Findspot, Settlement
Evidence : Find, Conjectural Evidence
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Early medieval onwards
Monument End Date : 1540
Monument Start Date : 1066
Monument Type : Church, Deserted Settlement, Motte And Bailey, Moat, Swannery, Fishpond, Building Platform, Ringwork
Evidence : Earthwork, Documentary Evidence, Conjectural Evidence
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Poss destroyed 1643
Monument End Date : 1643
Monument Start Date :
Monument Type : Church, Deserted Settlement, Motte And Bailey, Moat, Fishpond, Swannery, Building Platform, Siegework
Evidence : Earthwork, Documentary Evidence

Components and Objects:
Period : Late Iron Age
Component Monument Type : Findspot, Settlement
Object Type : POT
Object Material :

Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Gloucestershire)
External Cross Reference Number : 5053
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SO 72 SW 5
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : FIELD OBSERVATION ON SO 72 SW 5
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1971-01-11
End Date : 1971-01-11
Associated Activities : SWAN TUMP, TAYNTON
Activity type : SYSTEMATIC FIELDWALKING SURVEY
Start Date : 1997-01-01
End Date : 1997-12-31
Associated Activities : ENGLISH HERITAGE: GLOUCESTERSHIRE NMP (NORTH COTSWOLDS AND FOREST OF DEAN)
Activity type : AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH INTERPRETATION
Start Date : 2002-01-01
End Date : 2006-12-31
Associated Activities : LAND AT TAYNTON PARVA
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2015-01-01
End Date : 2015-12-31