Ancient Monuments

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Bromfield moated grange

A Scheduled Monument in Bromfield, Shropshire

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Latitude: 52.3872 / 52°23'13"N

Longitude: -2.767 / 2°46'1"W

OS Eastings: 347892.037304

OS Northings: 276845.726988

OS Grid: SO478768

Mapcode National: GBR BH.QRH2

Mapcode Global: VH843.080B

Entry Name: Bromfield moated grange

Scheduled Date: 9 October 1981

Last Amended: 13 January 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1009553

English Heritage Legacy ID: 13680

County: Shropshire

Civil Parish: Bromfield

Traditional County: Shropshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Shropshire

Church of England Parish: Bromfield

Church of England Diocese: Hereford


The moated grange at Bromfield is located on the south-western side of the
village. The monument has a moat island which is 50m square and about one
metre higher than the land around the site. The island is surrounded by a
ditch 2m to 3m deep and 4m wide. The ditch is partially water-filled and is
fed by springs located at the south-eastern and south-western corners of the
moat. Remains of a stone building are exposed on the north side of the island
where a low stone wall, 0.5m high and 2.5m long with a small buttress, can be
seen. A raised platform, on the northern side of the moat island and
immediately south of the exposed stonework, indicates the position of former
buildings. Disturbed stonework on the northern outer bank can also be seen
and may be the site of an access point to the interior of the site.
The moat lies 250m to the west of the church of the former Benedictine Priory
at Bromfield which was associated with St Peter's Abbey at Gloucester. The
Priory is documented from the 12th century to the Dissolution in 1537. It
is considered that the moated site was the location of a homestead farm or
grange associated with the Priory.

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.

Bromfield moated grange is associated with a nearby well known priory site.
The moat is well preserved and will retain archaeological evidence of the
grange buildings in the interior.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County of Shropshire: Volume II, (1973)

Source: Historic England

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