Ancient Monuments

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Calender monastic grange at Cottesbrooke

A Scheduled Monument in Cottesbrooke, Northamptonshire

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Latitude: 52.3652 / 52°21'54"N

Longitude: -0.9885 / 0°59'18"W

OS Eastings: 468969.931816

OS Northings: 274604.612759

OS Grid: SP689746

Mapcode National: GBR 9S8.NX1

Mapcode Global: VHDRB.TT87

Entry Name: Calender monastic grange at Cottesbrooke

Scheduled Date: 13 June 1973

Last Amended: 18 October 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011383

English Heritage Legacy ID: 13624

County: Northamptonshire

Civil Parish: Cottesbrooke

Traditional County: Northamptonshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northamptonshire

Church of England Parish: Cottesbrooke All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Peterborough


The monument at Calender consists of a moated site,earthwork remains and fishponds which formed a monastic grange of the Premonstratensian Order.The site lies to the north-west of Cottesbrooke village and just to the west of Cottesbrooke Park.The square moated site covers an area measuring 55m x 60m.The moat island is completely surrounded by a flat bottomed ditch averaging 7m in width and up to 2m deep,and there are traces of a slight inner and outer bank on the edges of the moat ditches.There is no indication of an entrance causeway,suggesting that access to the moat island was originally gained by a bridge across the ditch.The small moat island is approximately 30m square and includes a raised rectangular area which indicates the location of the remains of a building.To the west,east and south of the moated site are further earthworks of the agrarian monastic grange.Banks and ditches define hollow ways and tracks which crossed the site from north to south and east to west.Large platforms indicate the location of former farm buildings.Alongside the building platforms,water channels run southwards from small ponds to the stream which forms the southern boundary of the site.In the south-east corner of the grange lies a large fishpond,over 120m long and 25m wide fed from the stream to the south.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

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.Calender monastic grange retains a diversity of well defined earthwork features including a moated site,fishponds and buildings platforms.The site is in good condition and undisturbed,and therefore presents considerable archaeological potential.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Royal Commission on Historical Monuments of England, , RCHM on Northants

Source: Historic England

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