Taynton Parva

Has been described as a Certain Timber Castle (Motte Ringwork)

There are earthwork remains

NameTaynton Parva
Alternative NamesTaynton Old Church; Swan Tump
Historic CountryGloucestershire
Modern AuthorityGloucestershire
1974 AuthorityGloucestershire
Civil ParishTaynton

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. (Scheduling Report)

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSO748229
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Copyright Philip Halling and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons license.
Copyright Philip Halling and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons license.
Copyright Philip Halling and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons license.

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  • Salter, Mike, 2002, The Castles of Gloucestershire and Bristol (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 35
  • Williams, Sarah, 1996, Taynton Parva Deserted Medieval Village - Its History and Archaeology (Dean Archaeological Group Occasional publication 2) p. 4
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 183


  • Williams, Sarah, 1997, 'Taynton Parva' Glevensis Vol. 30 p. 27-32 online copy
  • 1965, Medieval Village Research Group annual report Vol. 13 p. 46


  • Historic England, 2015, Heritage at Risk South West Register 2015 (London: Historic England) p. 165 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2014, Heritage at Risk Register 2014 South West (London: English Heritage) p. 174 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2013, Heritage at Risk Register 2013 South West (London: English Heritage) p. 166 online copy