Ancient Monuments

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Moated site north-west of Pinwall

A Scheduled Monument in Sheepy, Leicestershire

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Latitude: 52.602 / 52°36'7"N

Longitude: -1.5515 / 1°33'5"W

OS Eastings: 430473.648147

OS Northings: 300561.779126

OS Grid: SK304005

Mapcode National: GBR 5H9.Y9H

Mapcode Global: WHCH6.4VGM

Entry Name: Moated site north-west of Pinwall

Scheduled Date: 13 January 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1009235

English Heritage Legacy ID: 17065

County: Leicestershire

Civil Parish: Sheepy

Traditional County: Leicestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Leicestershire

Church of England Parish: Merevale with Bentley

Church of England Diocese: Birmingham


The monument at Pinwall includes a moated grange located 2km north of
Atherstone. The rectangular moat measures 150 x 80m overall and was fed by a
small stream on the north side which forms the northern arm of the moat. This
is up to 2m deep and divided by a partial causeway in the centre. On the
south side the moat ran into a second stream via a 20m wide ditch situated
mid-way along the southern arm of the moat. Water still stands in the western
arm of the moat which is up to 12m wide. The eastern arm measures about 1m
deep and 10m wide with the faint trace of an outer bank. The southern arm of
the moat is an average of 10m wide and survives to a depth of 0.5m on the
south-west side and 0.75m on the south-east. A further channel also joined
the moat at the south-eastern corner. Two large depressions are evident on
the moat island, one of which is the result of later quarrying. It is
considered that a central hollow, approximately 1m deep, 25m wide and 40m
long, formed the cellar of a building, which stood within the moat.
Pinwall Grange was a grange farm of Merevale Abbey located in north
Warwickshire. An extant tithe barn at Newhouse Grange 2km to the north-east
may have been part of the same monastic holding. A tile kiln described as
`near the grange' is mentioned in 1550.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

A monastic grange was a farm owned and run by a monastic community and
independent of the secular manorial system of communal agriculture and servile
labour. The function of granges was to provide food and raw materials for
consumption within the parent monastic house itself, and also to provide
surpluses for sale for profit. The first monastic granges appeared in the 12th
century but they continued to be constructed and used until the Dissolution.
This system of agriculture was pioneered by the Cistercian order but was soon
imitated by other orders. Some granges were worked by resident lay-brothers
(secular workers) of the order but others were staffed by non-resident
labourers. The majority of granges practised a mixed economy but some were
specialist in their function. Five types of grange are known: agrarian farms,
bercaries (sheep farms), vaccaries (cattle ranches), horse studs and
industrial complexes. A monastery might have more than one grange and the
wealthiest houses had many. Frequently a grange was established on lands
immediately adjacent to the monastery, this being known as the home grange.
Other granges, however, could be found wherever the monastic site held lands.
On occasion these could be located at some considerable distance from the
parent monastery. Granges are broadly comparable with contemporary secular
farms although the wealth of the parent house was frequently reflected in the
size of the grange and the layout and architectural embellishment of the
buildings. Additionally, because of their monastic connection, granges tend to
be much better documented than their secular counterparts. No region was
without monastic granges. The exact number of sites which originally existed
is not precisely known but can be estimated, on the basis of numbers of
monastic sites, at several thousand. Of these, however, only a small
percentage can be accurately located on the ground today. Of this group of
identifiable sites, continued intensive use of many has destroyed much of the
evidence of archaeological remains. In view of the importance of granges to
medieval rural and monastic life, all sites exhibiting good archaeological
survival are identified as nationally important.

The moated grange site at Pinwall survives well and has important connections
with Merevale Abbey in Warwickshire. It is considered that the moat island
contains the foundations of monastic grange buildings.

Source: Historic England


Leicestershire Sites and Monuments Record, (1940)

Source: Historic England

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