Moated site north-west of Pinwall


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1009235

Date first listed: 13-Jan-1993


Ordnance survey map of Moated site north-west of Pinwall
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This copy shows the entry on 20-Nov-2018 at 15:58:38.


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

County: Leicestershire

District: Hinckley and Bosworth (District Authority)

Parish: Sheepy

National Grid Reference: SK 30475 00563


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 moated grange site at Pinwall survives well and has important connections with Merevale Abbey in Warwickshire. It is considered that the moat island contains the foundations of monastic grange buildings.


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


The monument at Pinwall includes a moated grange located 2km north of Atherstone. The rectangular moat measures 150 x 80m overall and was fed by a small stream on the north side which forms the northern arm of the moat. This is up to 2m deep and divided by a partial causeway in the centre. On the south side the moat ran into a second stream via a 20m wide ditch situated mid-way along the southern arm of the moat. Water still stands in the western arm of the moat which is up to 12m wide. The eastern arm measures about 1m deep and 10m wide with the faint trace of an outer bank. The southern arm of the moat is an average of 10m wide and survives to a depth of 0.5m on the south-west side and 0.75m on the south-east. A further channel also joined the moat at the south-eastern corner. Two large depressions are evident on the moat island, one of which is the result of later quarrying. It is considered that a central hollow, approximately 1m deep, 25m wide and 40m long, formed the cellar of a building, which stood within the moat. Pinwall Grange was a grange farm of Merevale Abbey located in north Warwickshire. An extant tithe barn at Newhouse Grange 2km to the north-east may have been part of the same monastic holding. A tile kiln described as `near the grange' is mentioned in 1550.

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: 17065

Legacy System: RSM


Leicestershire Sites and Monuments Record, (1940)

End of official listing