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Medieval defensive and settlement complex at Taynton Parva, 400m north west of Moorfields Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Taynton, Gloucestershire

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Latitude: 51.9041 / 51°54'14"N

Longitude: -2.3676 / 2°22'3"W

OS Eastings: 374808.684357

OS Northings: 222908.218069

OS Grid: SO748229

Mapcode National: GBR 0J3.G8R

Mapcode Global: VH942.XD7M

Entry Name: Medieval defensive and settlement complex at Taynton Parva, 400m north west of Moorfields Farm

Scheduled Date: 2 September 2008

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1021434

English Heritage Legacy ID: 36057

County: Gloucestershire

Civil Parish: Taynton

Traditional County: Gloucestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Gloucestershire

Church of England Parish: Taynton St Laurence

Church of England Diocese: Gloucester


This monument includes an assortment of medieval defensive and settlement
earthworks including a ringwork, motte and bailey, moated site with fishpond,
a further fishpond, a swannery, church, buried settlement remains, ridge and
furrow and civil war defences. The complex is situated within gently
undulating countryside and lies on the southern side of a small stream.

The presence of a ringwork is strongly suggested by the awkward fit of the
later motte within its ditch, which on its western side extends much further
than on its three other sides. The ringwork, which would have had maximum
internal dimensions of 60m east to west by 41m north to south, was probably
replaced by the motte relatively soon after or even perhaps during its
construction. The flat topped circular motte mound is associated with at
least two baileys. The bailey east of the motte contains earthworks of at
least three buildings and the one to the west is very small, but more
strongly protected.

The moated site at SO 7498 2298 includes a raised roughly triangular platform
surrounded by a ditch measuring up to 7m wide. A rectangular depression
leading from the southern edge of the moat represents a small conjoined
fishpond. The moat is situated within an area of ridge and furrow, which
survives particularly well in the area to the west.

The swannery is centred at SO 7471 2294 and is situated in an area marked as
`Swan Pools' on the 1840 Taynton Tithe Map. It includes an amorphous shallow
depression measuring up to 157m long by up to 42m wide. A 10m diameter mound
in the centre of the pond represents a nesting island and 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 74712290.

A second fishpond survives at SO 74812282 and a short distance north east of
this are the earthwork remains of the church burnt down by Royalists in 1643.
The church was in existence by 1134 and limited excavation has suggested an
early Norman date. Surrounding all sides except the north is a rampart with
external ditch and this represents the defensive works thrown up during the
Civil War. The recovery of some Late Iron Age/Romano-British cordoned ware
pottery from the site may suggest the presence of an earlier settlement at
this location.

The medieval settlement at Taynton Parva is known from documentary sources
and enjoyed a period of expansion in the early 13th century, although this
was short lived and by the end of the century the village was contracting and
was finally abandoned in 1485 leaving only the church. Some of the
earthworks within the monument will relate to the village, but many of the
remains will survive as buried features and structures.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

The medieval defensive and settlement complex at Taynton Parva represents a
truly remarkable survival of a significant number of well preserved monument
types in close proximity and together they form a particularly interesting
and informative insight into medieval life. Evidence relating to the Norman
colonisation of this part of England and the subsequent consolidation of
their way of life are clearly and graphically expressed as is the impact of
the Civil War. Purpose built swanneries are relatively rare in the English
landscape and the presence of the very well preserved one at Taynton Parva
emphasises the original high status and therefore importance of the
settlement. The discovery of some Late Iron Age Romano-British pottery on
the site further enhances its importance and may indicate a longevity and
complexity of occupation usually only encountered within urban contexts. The
archaeological remains at Taynton Parva are of national importance.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Williams, S E, 'Dean Archaeological Group Occasional publication' in Taynton Parva Deserted Medieval Village - Its History etc, , Vol. 2, (1996), 4
Gloucestershire SMR Summary Report, Area 5053/2/2,

Source: Historic England

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