Norman Hill House, Cam

Have a photo of old Dursley to share? Post here to see if anyone can add anything.
helen sheppard
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Re: Norman Hill House, Cam

Post by helen sheppard »

Yes that is the "castle" in the top right hand corner of the photograph and I think the group of trees in the field are the ones that surrounded the pond. The "castle" was a light stone colour but a lot of the out buildings that were around the edge of the estate were red brick so probably why there are still a lot to be found in that area. The orchard was a great place to toboggan in the winter of 63.

Rich Hughes
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Re: Norman Hill House, Cam

Post by Rich Hughes »

Hi, if you're talking about the orchard with a stream at the bottom, it was used for a toboggan a long long time after then! So was the castle round or square? Only someone mentioned it being round but looks square on the pic, I believe there are some remains of it buried under a tangle of undergrowth and rubble, the two walls that the tower sat between are still there. To your knowledge were there any buildings in the field behind St Georges Rd?
Last edited by Rich Hughes on Tue Mar 01, 2011 9:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

davegoldsmith
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Re: Norman Hill House, Cam

Post by davegoldsmith »

I agree with Rich, if you compare the photo with the map I think it shows the castle somewhat oblong and the sheds/stables next to it. Do we know when the house was built, only the wall looks very old. Like I said when I started the ball rolling on this subject, I thought the castle was a Norman look out tower hence the name of the present estate and the previous house also I thought it might be linked with the castle in Dursley. It's like trying to solve crime but good fun. Dave

Rich Hughes
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Re: Norman Hill House, Cam

Post by Rich Hughes »

Hi Dave, Did you read my earlier post? Both of the walls that were joined to the castle are still there, one runs through 12 gardens between Holywell Rd and Parklands Rd. The house I read somewhere was built in the 1880's and that ties in with they're family records, but must say that the map does not show or list the walls or castle and I am beginning to wonder whether the map is showing a work in progress or is it simply lacking in detail!

dursleyglos
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Re: Norman Hill House, Cam

Post by dursleyglos »

Hi Rich. I'm struggling to see how any walls along Holywell Road could be the same as that connecting to the 'castle' in my earlier picture as the scale seems wrong to me. I can't see how Holywell Road could be directly behind the castle in the picture as Holywell Road is about halfway between Tilsdown and Everlands on a modern map and yet the castle seems only about one quarter to one third of the way across. Could there have been another estate boundary wall further out from the main garden, perhaps along the taller trees, running left-right, centre left on the second photo? That's about where I would put Holywell Road. In 1914, the estate of Captain Hague was round two acres in size. I can see I really need to overlay the pictures!
As for the stones, they are probably small standing stones or markers and the crosses are reference points for measuring distances. I'm pretty sure that there is nothing ancient in the house, walls or 'castle' and it's probably a name that has carried down for centuries. The earliest reference I know of is in a will of 1650 when Thomas Purnell was left four acres of arable land lying at "Norman's Hill". There may be a Norman connection but the likelihood is that it belonged to someone with the surname of Noman way back in the distant past. There was definitely a house there in the 1840s although it's possible it was a different one to that shown. In 1852 it was lived in by M.J. Rhodes, Esq. and Arthur Brend Winterbotham was in residence in 1863.
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Rich Hughes
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Re: Norman Hill House, Cam

Post by Rich Hughes »

Andy, If you look at (Google maps Dursley Cam) and zoom in to Norman Hill, you will see the wall at the top of the gardens of Holywell Rd/Woodview Rd which is also the wall at the bottom of the gardens of Parklands. You can follow it from where the castle was, for me that looks pretty much on the money for where the estate stood. On second thoughts, having looked at the pic it might have been a bit of a squeeze to fit that all inside the wall boundry but that all depends on how far back the house was. It's poss the wall leading up to the castle from the field side which I looked at yesterday could have carried on down further to a second boundary wall and joined the tower there? Cos of the undergrowth rubble and fences it makes it hard to work anything out for certain, If you could do an overlay of old and recent maps that would hopefully solve it. I never thought the estate wall or tower was old either, certainly not Medieval, if anything up on Norman Hill is over 200 years old I would be very surprised.

Yesterday I went down to the library (keep that to yourself) and looked at the many history books. There are a few mentions of the Winterbothams business dealings and various other houses they bought and sold but I could find no info on our estate in question, but did find a few photo's of farming around there. I have been given some numbers for Glos Archives and Reference & Enquiry service if we get stuck, but I think between us we can crack this case.
P.S. The smaller curving wall is in the gardens across the road but still in Parklands where the road curves into the estate.

dursleyglos
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Re: Norman Hill House, Cam

Post by dursleyglos »

Hi Rich. I can see I need to do the map overlay, possibly with the photograph as well to see how things compare. I've checked Google maps too and I can possibly see how some of the wall may be part of that on the photo but the scale still doesn't seem right to me. The actual position of what I think is the tower on the photo seems to me to now be right in the middle of the playing field. Is that what you believe? I'll post some other pictures when I can.
I actually have my own copies of all the historical books held by the library and have checked them as well, nothing much as you say. I also have a list of all the Norman Hill references held at Gloucestershire Archives (I don't think you'll get very far by phone unfortunately). I just need to get over there again to check them out so I may well visit again in the next couple of weeks. Meanwhile we'll carry on here!
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Rich Hughes
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Re: Norman Hill House, Cam

Post by Rich Hughes »

Andy, I have been on and around the wall going up to the tower (visible in your pic). It's roughly 100ft long and the last 9ft of the wall has been added on, you can see by the mortar, and the fact it protrudes approx 5 inches from the main wall and joins to the the longer wall on the other side (could this possibly be the Castle?). Both sides of the wall are surrounded by much brick and stone and masonry debris. Maybe me, you and Dave should meet up and have a look? I admit it still seems a bit small.
P.S., do you mean you think the tower was in the middle of Norman Hill playing field?

dursleyglos
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Re: Norman Hill House, Cam

Post by dursleyglos »

Maybe what I think is the tower in my first photo is not correct. Are you able to mark up a copy of the photo and repost it. If not, I'll do it and add it here later so at least you can see what I thought it was. Yes, I did mean the middle of the Norman Hill playing field which seems to include most of the old house and immediate gardens shown on my photo.
Andy - Dursley Glos Web Admin

Rich Hughes
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Re: Norman Hill House, Cam

Post by Rich Hughes »

Do you want to meet up and I can show you???
I can see from your second photo exactly where it is (or maybe was) and it's by Holywell Rd, your 1st pic gives the illusion the tower is wrongly in the middle of the field!! There are 2 structures in your 1st photo in the far right of your pic. One is I think round and what I think is the castle on the far right is or looks to be square? Though somebody said it was round?

helen sheppard
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Re: Norman Hill House, Cam

Post by helen sheppard »

The castle was definitely square, one room in the bottom, a spiral staircase and turrets at the top. We used to climb over the roof of an outbuilding which would be on the righthand side of the photograph then I seem to remember walking along a path that seemed to be on top of the wall and which was quite overgrown with trees. This took you to the door of the castle.
Yes if I were you Peter and Rich I would meet up, it might solve a lot of problems!!

Rich Hughes
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Re: Norman Hill House, Cam

Post by Rich Hughes »

Hi Helen, Thanks for that! I was up, on, and around that wall today, so there was a path in between the walls, only the path and outer wall remains, the inner wall is virtually gone. Well there's much stonework littered about the place, I think I have found what's left of the tower, it fits in nicely with the photo. I followed the wall all the way down and at the bottom is a 9 foot piece of wall that sticks out 5 inches or so from the rest of the wall. It also isn't part of the wall it has been built up against it!. Can you confirm the castle was close to Holywell Rd?

davegoldsmith
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Re: Norman Hill House, Cam

Post by davegoldsmith »

Andy/Rich. Yes I would be glad to meet up with you two and share what knowledge I have, it's not a lot only what I can remember. You two have access to historical records beyond me. In the close-up view of the photo of the house the castle is definately top right you can only just make out the turrets. It also looks taller than I remember, fascinating, Dave.

dursleyglos
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Re: Norman Hill House, Cam

Post by dursleyglos »

Hi Rich. I've enlarged a section of the photo, sharpened it as far as I can and marked it up with what I believe are the square and round 'towers'. Is that what others think too? Hopefully that helps to make sure we're talking about the same thing anyway. I would be fine to meet up with you and Dave. If you could both email me directly then perhaps we could set something up. Thanks, Andy
Attachments
Enlarged and marked up picture of the 'towers' (courtesy David Evans collection)
Enlarged and marked up picture of the 'towers' (courtesy David Evans collection)
norman_hill_marked_up.jpg (59.93 KiB) Viewed 16358 times
Andy - Dursley Glos Web Admin

Rich Hughes
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Re: Norman Hill House, Cam

Post by Rich Hughes »

When shall we go? I believe I have found the Castle (part of it anyway).

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