Medieval monastic grange with building platforms and dovecote at Saltby


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1009165

Date first listed: 03-Feb-1993


Ordnance survey map of Medieval monastic grange with building platforms and dovecote at Saltby
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This copy shows the entry on 22-Jan-2019 at 12:11:11.


The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Leicestershire

District: Melton (District Authority)

Parish: Sproxton

National Grid Reference: SK 87286 26132, SK 87510 26038


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

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 Grange at Saltby survives well and contains many building foundations which will retain important archaeological information.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


The monument at Saltby is situated in an area of ancient heathland, 10km south-west of Grantham. It includes the earthwork remains of a medieval grange farm containing building platforms, a dovecote and a boundary ditch and is divided into two areas.

The earthworks of the grange farm in the first area cover an area measuring about 200m square. The main features of the site are a number of building foundations fairly well dispersed throughout the area and surviving both as platforms and wall foundation outlines. The wall foundations survive as low banks up to 0.5m in height and comprise at least six rectangular buildings ranging in size from approximately 35 x 12m to 115 x 30m in overall dimensions. There are three rectangular building platforms measuring from 25 x 20m to 45 x 30m situated close together on the south-east side of the site. In the central area of the site is a circular earthwork platform, approximately 12m in diameter, which has been identified as a dovecote. A series of enclosure banks currently standing up to 0.75m in height are also found throughout the site. A post medieval hedge bank cuts across the north-west side of the site. Also within the area are a number of circular depressions identified as wells. Situated 100m to the west is a 150m length of flat topped boundary bank measuring 1m high and up to 15m wide, which is considered to be an integral part of the medieval grange site. The bank is contained within the second area.

The medieval grange has been attributed, by different sources, to both Croxton Abbey in Leicestershire and Vaudey Abbey in Lincolnshire.

Excluded from the scheduling is a slurry pit on the north side of the site, measuring 35 x 12m, although the ground beneath it is included.

MAP EXTRACT 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.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 17101

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Hartley, R F, The Medieval Earthworks of North-West Leicestershire, (1987), 13,39

End of official listing