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


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1021434

Date first listed: 02-Sep-2008


Ordnance survey map of Medieval defensive and settlement complex at Taynton Parva, 400m north west of Moorfields Farm
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2019. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1021434 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 19-Jan-2019 at 23:18:03.


The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Gloucestershire

District: Forest of Dean (District Authority)

Parish: Taynton

National Grid Reference: SO 74810 22885


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

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.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


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.

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


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 36057

Legacy System: RSM


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,

End of official listing