Ancient Monuments

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Medieval grange and field system, 200m south of Royston Grange

A Scheduled Monument in Ballidon, Derbyshire

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Latitude: 53.1062 / 53°6'22"N

Longitude: -1.7012 / 1°42'4"W

OS Eastings: 420097.030501

OS Northings: 356599.932714

OS Grid: SK200565

Mapcode National: GBR 47S.8QB

Mapcode Global: WHCDS.V621

Entry Name: Medieval grange and field system, 200m south of Royston Grange

Scheduled Date: 10 June 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018088

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29830

County: Derbyshire

Civil Parish: Ballidon

Traditional County: Derbyshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Derbyshire

Church of England Parish: Bradbourne All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Derby


The monument includes the remains of a medieval grange and associated field
system with the foundations of its contemporary enclosure walls. Also included
is a dewpond, identified as dating to the Romano-British period. The grange
comprises two adjacent sites with evidence that each represents a different
period of occupation.
The remains of buildings, platforms and enclosures in the south western part
of the site are identified as those of the earliest phase of settlement during
the medieval period. Excavations during the 1980s revealed that the first
phase of occupation occurred during the late 12th or 13th century. The main
building appears to have been an aisled structure, about 15m by 10m, with
drystone walls, the remains of which stand slightly above foundation level.
Another building to the immediate north is likely to be contemporary with the
main building. A further, slightly smaller, building was added during the
13th century immediately to the south. The remains of a stairway indicates
that it had an upper room. This building appears to have been abandoned after
a relatively short time and evidence shows that all of the buildings were
deserted around the end of the 13th century.
It is likely that the 12th and 13th century buildings were vacated due to
frequent flooding and from about 1300 to 1750 settlement concentrated on drier
land to the north. Following the Dissolution of the Monasteries, the grange
continued as a farm. The remains of the buildings and domestic enclosures of
this later phase of occupation can be identified as upstanding earthworks to
the north of the earlier phase. Although this part of the monument has not
been excavated, sampling has recovered pottery fragments confirming the period
of occupation. During the 18th century, the present farmhouse of Roystone
Grange was constructed a few metres to the north.
To the east of the domestic settlement areas is an enclosed field in which the
remains of ridge and furrow ploughing can be identified. At least two separate
fields can still be seen in the surviving earthworks. The foundation levels of
the drystone wall enclosing the field system have also been dated to the
medieval period. Extensive studies of wall types in the Roystone valley now
enable such chronological development to be understood. The location of the
field system in relation to the medieval grange indicates that it was used
to grow arable crops for domestic consumption.
A few metres to the west of the earliest phase of the medieval grange is an
enclosed dewpond and a natural spring. The relationship of the spring and
dewpond to the settlement indicates that it served the medieval community.
However, an analysis of its enclosure wall shows that the dewpond is likely
to have Romano-British origins.
A building constructed during the early 20th century, formerly used to pump
compressed air to quarry workings further north in the valley, stands to the
immediate east of the earlier phases of the grange. The arrangement of the
medieval settlement shows that the pumphouse stands within the settlement
complex and remains are likely to survive below its structure.
The grange was owned by the Cistercian Garendon Abbey in Leicestershire,
founded in 1133. In early records, Roystone was referred to as 'Reevestones'.
Historical documents indicate that the grange was primarily a wool producer,
a function supported by the archaeological evidence obtained during the 1980s.
All gates, fences, stiles and posts are excluded from the scheduling, although
the ground beneath these features is included. Also excluded from the
scheduling are all drystone walls except their foundation courses and the
ground beneath them which are included together with a 2m margin. The wall
foundations are included becaused of their medieval or Romano-British origins.

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

Farmsteads, normally occupied by only one or two families and comprising small
groups of buildings with attached yards, gardens and enclosures, were a
characteristic feature of the medieval rural landscape. They occur throughout
the country, the intensity of their distribution determined by local
topography and the nature of the agricultural system prevalent within the
region. In some areas of dispersed settlement they were the predominant
settlement form; elsewhere they existed alongside, or were components of, more
nucleated settlement patterns. The sites of many farmsteads have been
occupied down to the present day but others were abandoned as a result of, for
example, declining economic viability, enclosure or emparkment, or epidemics
like the Black Death. In the northern border areas, recurring cross-border
raids and military activities also disrupted agricultural life and led to
abandonments. Farmsteads are a common and long-lived monument type; the
archaeological deposits on those which were abandoned are often well-preserved
and provide important information on regional and national settlement patterns
and farming economies, and on changes in these through time.

The medieval monastic grange 200m south of Roystone Grange is important
because its remains are in a good state of preservation, having suffered
minimum disruption through later development. It also has an intact field
system associated with the domestic arrangements of the settlement, including
the foundations of contemporary enclosure walls. The survival of
archaeological remains representing several phases of occupation are important
to our understanding of the development of medieval agricultural settlements.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Hodges, R, Wall-to-wall History: the story of Roystone Grange, (1991)

Source: Historic England

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