The comprehensive gazetteer and bibliography of the medieval castles, fortifications and palaces of England, Wales, the Islands.
The listings
Other Info
Print Page 
Next Record 
Previous Record 
Back to list 

Over; The Vineyard

In the civil parish of Highnam.
In the historic county of Gloucestershire.
Modern Authority of Gloucestershire.
1974 county of Gloucestershire.
Medieval County of Gloucestershire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SO81401978
Latitude 51.87628° Longitude -2.27158°

Over; The Vineyard has been described as a probable Palace.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


The house later known as The Vineyard was built by one of the abbots of Gloucester and was enlarged and moated by Abbot Froucester (1381- 1412). After the Dissolution it became the bishop's residence (Fosbrooke).
It was plundered by the Parliamentarians at Christmas 1641 and subsequently used by them as an outpost of Gloucester, guarding the western approach and bridge. It was abandoned in August 1643. By 1647-8 the residence was in a ruined condition and was being robbed for its stone (Washburn).
The three sided moat (Steep slopes on the N. preclude a fourth side) is well preserved. It encloses an area of pasture where irregularities of the surface and low banks indicate building footings. The causeway on the E was constructed about 1938. Immediately outside the W arm of the moat is a breastwork which appears to be of the Civil War period.
The obvious area for the vineyard (the existence of which is attested in medieval records) is that centred at SO 81501978 and now occupied by the Isolation Hospital (F1 ANK 07-NOV-67).
This is the best surviving earthwork relating to the siege of Gloucester of 1643. Its plan is similar to the Queen's sconce at Newark. The former bishop's residence was refortified in March 1643 to keep watch on the Royalist force at Highnam, 1.5 miles to the West. A new shallow ditch incorporating artillery emplacements (bastions) on the west-facing corners was added to the Mediaeval moat. Colonel Forbes abandoned the position and burnt the house on August 10th, and the Royalist Welsh army subsequently captured the site (Atkin and Laughin).
SO 8139 1978 A Medieval and Post-Medieval moated site, visible as earthworks, was mapped from aerial photographs taken in 1955, 1966 and 1968. The house, later known as The Vineyard, was built by one of the abbots of Gloucester and was enlarged and moated by Abbot Froucester (1381-1412). After the Dissolution it became the bishop's residence. The house was plundered for its stone when it was used by Parliamentary forces (1641-1643). Only three sides of the remaining moat ditch were mapped due to coverage by trees and shrubs. The west side of the moat is about 78 metres long and 12 metres wide, the north side 80 metres long and 9 metres wide and the southern side 67 metres long and 7 metres wide, though the latter was truncated by the boundary of the site of the former hospital. The internal area defined by the moat is about 60 metres north to south and 71 metres east to west. The interior of the moated site appears as a number of irregularly shaped earthwork ditches and banks of no discernible plan, probably the result of stone robbing from the former house. Immediately to the west, north and southern side of the medieval moat is an earthwork breastwork which may be a Civil War period defence. The external ditch has a breastwork earthwork bank behind it with two angular bastions projecting perpendicular from these earthen banks, to provide covering fire, at the north-west (SO 8131 1980) and south-west (SO 8135 1971) corners. (PastScape)

The hamlet of Over grew up in the east end of the parish by the Severn crossing at Over Bridge. There was evidently a number of houses there by the mid 13th century, and a large moated mansion called the Vineyard had been built north of the main road there by the late 14th century. (VCH)

The location of this moated house, beside the strategically important Over Bridge, resulted in it being turned into a C17 Civil war fort. However, in the medieval period, it must have had the same strategic importance but, by being in church hands, it may have been neutralised as a potential military site.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
PastScape   County HER   Scheduling        
Maps >
Streetmap   NLS maps   Where's the path   Old-Maps      
Data/Maps > 
Magic   V. O. B.   Geology   LiDAR   Open Domesday  
Air Photos > 
Bing Maps   Google Maps   Getmapping   ZoomEarth      
Photos >
CastleFacts   Geograph   Flickr   Panoramio      

Sources of information, references and further reading
Most of the sites or buildings recorded in this web site are NOT open to the public and permission to visit a site must always be sought from the landowner or tenant.
It is an offence to disturb a Scheduled Monument without consent. It is a destruction of everyone's heritage to remove archaeological evidence from ANY site without proper recording and reporting.
Don't use metal detectors on historic sites without authorisation.
The information on this web page may be derived from information compiled by and/or copyright of Historic England, County Historic Environment Records and other individuals and organisations. It may also contain information licensed under the Open Government Licence. All the sources given should be consulted to identify the original copyright holder and permission obtained from them before use of the information on this site for commercial purposes.
The author and compiler of Gatehouse does not receive any income from the site and funds it himself. The information within this site is provided freely for educational purposes only.
The bibliography owes much to various bibliographies produced by John Kenyon for the Council for British Archaeology, the Castle Studies Group and others.
Suggestions for finding online and/or hard copies of bibliographical sources can be seen at this link.
Minor archaeological investigations, such as watching brief reports, and some other 'grey' literature is most likely to be held by H.E.R.s but is often poorly referenced and is unlikely to be recorded here, or elsewhere, but some suggestions can be found here.
The possible site or monument is represented on maps as a point location. This is a guide only. It should be noted that OS grid references defines an area, not a point location. In practice this means the actual center of the site or monument may often, but not always, be to the North East of the point shown. Locations derived from OS grid references and from latitude longitiude may differ by a small distance.
Further information on mapping and location can be seen at this link.
Please help to make this as useful a resource as possible by contacting Gatehouse if you see errors, can add information or have suggestions for improvements in functality and design.
Help is acknowledged.
This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:27

Home | Books | Links | Fortifications and Castles | Other Information | Help | Downloads | Author Information | Contact