Ancient Monuments

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Moated grange

A Scheduled Monument in Burton and Dalby, Leicestershire

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Latitude: 52.7314 / 52°43'53"N

Longitude: -0.856 / 0°51'21"W

OS Eastings: 477345.611869

OS Northings: 315479.795198

OS Grid: SK773154

Mapcode National: GBR BPB.LDZ

Mapcode Global: WHFK6.TLKW

Entry Name: Moated grange

Scheduled Date: 24 September 1953

Last Amended: 11 June 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010307

English Heritage Legacy ID: 17028

County: Leicestershire

Civil Parish: Burton and Dalby

Traditional County: Leicestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Leicestershire

Church of England Parish: Melton Mowbray Team

Church of England Diocese: Leicester


The Grange is a moated site occupying an isolated location midway between the
villages of Burton Lazars and Little Dalby. It comprises a rectangular moat
with a further ditch projecting from the north-east corner.
Situated on the western bank of Burton Brook, the earthwork ditches are 8-10m
wide and 1.5-2m deep. The approximate overall dimensions of the
moated area are 75m north-south, and 60m east-west. The ditch at the
north-east corner reflects the dimensions of the moat arms and projects 90m
northwards, bending slightly towards the river. Running the length of the
eastern side of the site, including the northern arm, are the slight remains
of an outer bank. The moat island is slightly raised on the north-east side,
with a low mound in the opposite corner, and brick foundations of a modern
barn in the south-east.
Several gifts of land in Burton Lazars, including this grange, were given to
Vaudey Abbey in Lincolnshire by Richard I, as documented in 1189. Historical
sources also refer to a stone tower situated within this grange.
Excluded from the scheduling are the modern barn foundations on the island
but the ground beneath them 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.

The moated grange at Burton and Dalby is linked by documentary evidence to
Vaudey Abbey in Lincolnshire. The monument survives in good condition and
will preserve remains of an unusual associated tower.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Courtney, P, The Medieval Granges of Leicestershire, (1977)
Hartley, R F, The Medieval Earthworks of North-West Leicestershire, (1987)

Source: Historic England

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