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Kingsholm Palace

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

OS Map Grid Reference: SO83401955
Latitude 51.87427° Longitude -2.24252°

Kingsholm Palace has been described as a probable Palace.

There are no visible remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.

Description

The tradition of an Anglo-Saxon and Norman palace in existence at Kingsholm (SO 8319) from Mercian times is probably well-founded in view of the close connection of the Mercian rulers with the city and of their estates in the vicinity, although it is not until the time of Edward the Confessor and his successors that its presence can be established. During the critical events of 1051 the Confessor summoned his magnates to his "palace at Gloucester", and there is no doubt that he often resided there (Lobel). The palace was identified in C18 with a ruined building in Kingsholm Close (the name occurs at SO 834197 on Hall and Pinnell's map of 1780), which measured about 120ft square with walls 3ft to 4ft high, later demolished for road material. A hoard of more than half a peck of Saxon coins was found in the same field sometime before 1785, and many other Saxon coins have been found there (Bigland; Mutlow; Usher). A series of trenches and pits were excavated in 1972 at SO 83401955. The complex plan of the remains, thought to be late Saxon because of the few sherds of limestone gritted course ware that was found, and inter cutting features suggest that two or more building phases were involved. The alignment of the trenches and pits are similar in plan to the long hall uncovered at Cheddar (ST 45 SE 24). This, coupled with documentary evidence, suggests that they may be part of the Royal Palace of Kingsholm (Hurst et al, 1975). (PastScape)
Comments

Possible used by William the Conqueror in 1085, when, at the Christmas Witan, he ordered the Domesday Survey but must have been superseded by Gloucester Castle possibly already under construction at that date. The Saxon palace complex was used for national assemblies and must have been large. It is outside the Roman walls of Gloucester. It is suggested a smaller Saxon royal residence was within the walls, at the site of the castle (Baker and Holt), although the Domesday record of destruction of houses does suggest the Normans extended that Saxon residence considerably.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated before 1 February 2016

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