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Olveston Court

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;

In the civil parish of Olveston.
In the historic county of Gloucestershire.
Modern Authority of South Gloucestershire.
1974 county of Avon.
Medieval County of Gloucestershire.

OS Map Grid Reference: ST59818709
Latitude 51.58111° Longitude -2.58110°

Olveston Court has been described as a probable Fortified Manor House.

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.
This is a Grade 2* listed building protected by law*.


Gatehouse, attached farmhouse, now house and ruins of former Olveston Court fortified manor house attached to west. Late C15 gatehouse, farmhouse refronted early C19 with later alterations. Rubble, farmhouse rendered to north, stone dressings, pantiled roof to gatehouse, double Roman and pantiled roof to farmhouse with gabled stacks, both with raised coped verges and kneelers. L-plan farmhouse. Gatehouse has north elevation of 2 tall storeys, central entrance with heavey chamfered and stopped timber lintel, lancet to right with iron lattice, smaller lancet above lighting stair, central 2-light window with pointed arched heads, chamfered surround and drip mould; south elevation has central entry with depressed 4-centred arched head, surround of 3 hollow chamfered orders, drip mould and relieving arch, blocked door to right with segmental headed moulded surround and drip mould, remains of projecting corbel above, 1st floor left has lancet and drip mould. Interior: 2 doors to west, both with 4-centred arched head and chamfered surround, window with timber lintel at upper level to east; west block has stone newel to 1st floor central room with chamfered and stopped beams, garderobe to west with original wooden seat. Farmhouse has west elevation of 2 storeys with lower wing to left, 1:4 windows, all 16-panel sashes in main block except 1st floor right, small chamfered opening with iron lattice and C20 door to right; wing to left has 6-pane window to ground and 1st floor, blocked opening with 4-centred arch to left ground and blocked opening with pointed segmental head, chamfered surround and relieving arch. North elevation (attached to gate house) has C20 porch with hipped roof and C20 window at 1st floor; east elevation has C20 windows and one small opening with iron lattice to 1st floor left. (Listed Building Report)

Olveston Court is one of several examples in the Bristol area which were owned by nationally influential figures during the Medieval period. Its development as a major site between the 13th and 15th centuries reflects the growth to prominence of the nearby city and port. The existence of extensive and well-preserved earthworks indicate the high status of the moat and its potential for archaeological remains.
The monument comprises the remains of buildings ancillary to the manor of Olveston Court, parts of which date from the 13th century, with subsequent additions and redevelopment most particularly in the 15th century; its structural development is understood from a comprehensive archaeological survey. Included in the scheduling are the courtyard, kitchen courtyard, curtain wall and moat and the earthworks to the north and south-east, which are the remains of other outbuildings and boundaries. Standing structures in the kitchen courtyard include the kitchen and oven blocks, with fireplaces and ovens; in the courtyard walls there are doorways and a gable and fireplace. The curtain wall, a fine example of fifteenth century embellishment for display rather than defence, retains evidence of battlements, a wallwalk, windows, doorways and putlog holes. The moat, which runs along the southern face of the curtain wall, is thought to have been developed from an existing mill leat. Earthworks along the north side of the leat define the boundaries to the west beyond the curtain wall and to the east beyond the Court buildings. (Scheduling Report)

The remains of Olveston Court probably date to the last quarter of the 15th c. A gate house exists with a pigeon house in the upper storey. Much of the moat, especially on the south side, still exists (TBGAS 1887).
A survey of the earthworks and building remains at Olveston Court was made by Peter Ellis of the Western Archaeological Trust in June 1977. Watching briefs also took place between 1977 and 1979 during building work at the site. The survey shows that the hall range of the present 15th century buildings overlies earlier buildings; that a complex of buildings existed within the western part of the curtain wall; and that there may have been a wall on the west of the complex. The plan of the 15th century buildings is now established and the nature of the ground precludes any defensive works to the north. The defensive parts of the Court, therefore, would seem to have been for display only (Ellis 1983). (PastScape)
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:29

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