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Moated site of Newhall Grange

A Scheduled Monument in Pinchbeck, Lincolnshire

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Latitude: 52.8272 / 52°49'37"N

Longitude: -0.2272 / 0°13'37"W

OS Eastings: 519542.160371

OS Northings: 326992.319871

OS Grid: TF195269

Mapcode National: GBR HWM.PCW

Mapcode Global: WHHMD.H61F

Entry Name: Moated site of Newhall Grange

Scheduled Date: 15 December 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1009981

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20818

County: Lincolnshire

Civil Parish: Pinchbeck

Traditional County: Lincolnshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lincolnshire

Church of England Parish: West Pinchbeck St Bartholomew

Church of England Diocese: Lincoln


The monument includes a moated site identified as Newhall Grange, belonging to
Spalding Priory. It is located alongside the medieval Newdyke, now known as
Beck Bank, on marine silts which were probably taken in from the fen in the
early 12th century.

The moated site is sub-rectangular in plan and has maximum overall dimensions
of approximately 300m east-west by 293m north-south. A rhomboidal central
island with internal dimensions of approximately 155m east-west by 93m
north-south is surrounded by an inner and an outer moat, spaced between 23m
and 80m apart, with a number of ditched enclosures between.

The surface of the central island is raised up to 1m above the prevailing
ground level. The inner moat which encloses it is between 13m and 15m in
width and has an overall depth of approximately 1.7m, including approximately
1.4m of silt deposits in the bottom. The outer moat is of similar form and
width on three sides, and remains open to a depth of 1.5m, with a similar
depth of silt. The moat ditches are wet at the bottom in many places, and the
lower fill deposits are known to be permanently waterlogged.
The northern arm of the outer moat is in use as a modern drainage dyke,
although the modern dyke is wholly within the original moat ditch, which will
survive as a buried feature. The entrance causeway was probably across the
southern arm of the outer moat, in the area now partly obscured by standing
farm buildings.

On the western side of the site, where the space between the inner and outer
moat is narrowest, two drainage channels up to 1.2m deep lead from the north
west and south west corners respectively of the inner moat into the adjacent
arm of the outer moat. On the eastern side of the site, a series of ditches
between and connected to the two moats divides the intervening area into a
number of rectilinear closes. These ditches have been recorded in plan and,
although recently they have been partly or wholly infilled, they survive as
buried features, and some of them are still visible as slight linear hollows
in the ground surface.

The first reference to the site is in a charter of 1229-1259, and between
1274 and 1295, Prior William de Littleport built a manor house there, from
which the name of the site presumably derives. A description of the moated
site dating from 1535 provides valuable detail as to its layout. Certain
pastures and lands leased to Geoffrey Chambre by Prior Thomas Spalding are
described as `lying wythout the mote of Newhall and all other houses or
offices belongyng to the same .... and also all the ffyshyng and fowlyng in
the little mote and the grete mote'. This can be taken to refer to the inner
and outer moats visible as earthworks today. Certainly the arrangement of the
earthworks suggests a central building, surrounded by an outer court with
yards and closes, where agricultural buildings will have stood.
All field boundary fences and gates within the area are excluded from the
scheduling, as are derelict farm buildings on the southern edge of the site,
and a water trough, with concrete standing and supply pipe, although the
ground beneath all these feature is included.

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.

Newhall Grange moated site survives very well, having undergone little
disturbance by later activity, and it will retain varied archaeological
information concerning the construction, organisation and use of the site as a
manor and grange belonging to Spalding Priory during the medieval period.
Evidence of the house which stood on the site, and of structures adjoining or
surrounding it, will be preserved below the ground surface, and waterlogged
deposits in the moat ditches will contain organic remains including
environmental material. Evidence of earlier land use will be preserved beneath
the raised surface of the central island. The existence of documentary
records which provide further information on the grange gives the monument
additional interest. The relationship of the monument to the adjacent medieval
fen bank, and its proximity to another moated site and grange at Rigbolt
House, less than 1km to the north in the neighbouring parish of Gosberton, are
features of wider interest for the study of the medieval landscape in this
part of the Fenland region.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Hallam, H E, Settlement and society, (1965)
Hayes, P P, Lane, T M, 'East Anglian Archaeology' in The Fenland Project 5: Lincolnshire Survey, The South West Fens, , Vol. 55, (1992), 117, 18
copy in FEP dossier, Ancliffe, V, (1979)
copy in FEP dossier: Pinchbeck (N)24, Healey, RH & Roffe, DR, Some medieval and later earthworks in South Lincolnshire: Newhall,
Dossier for H B M C, Fenland Evaluation Project: Lincolnshire, (1990)

Source: Historic England

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