Pinslade moated grange, Mowsley


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1010484

Date first listed: 10-Mar-1992


Ordnance survey map of Pinslade moated grange, Mowsley
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Leicestershire

District: Harborough (District Authority)

Parish: Husbands Bosworth

County: Leicestershire

District: Harborough (District Authority)

Parish: Mowsley

National Grid Reference: SP 63486 87133

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.

Pinslade Grange survives in good condition and has considerable potential for the survival of archaeological evidence within its interior. The site has important and well documented associations with Leicester Abbey.


Pinslade Grange is located alongside the main Leicester road, 2.5km north of Husbands Bosworth, and comprises a moated site within a triangular enclosure, with a fishpond on the south-eastern side. The maximum dimensions of the triangular enclosure are 235m north-south and 200m east-west. The east and west arms of the enclosure measure 250m coming to a point at the north. The enclosure is defined by a ditch, the western arm of which survives to a depth of 0.5m, and the southern arm is defined by a west-east flowing stream. The eastern arm consists of a ditch 8-10m wide and 1.5m deep. At the southern end of the eastern ditch is a rectangular dry fishpond between 1-1.5m deep measuring 25 x 40m which was fed by the stream. The moated site within the enclosure measures 60 x 60m, the ditch enclosing a square island. At the north-west corner of the moat the ditch is 14m wide and 2m deep, although the eastern arm is only 10m wide and 1m deep with traces of an outer bank. The southern arm is almost completely silted up. Pinslade Grange was given to Leicester Abbey in the 12th century but ceased to be part of the Abbey's demesne in 1254. Evidence of ridge and furrow ploughing within the enclosure suggests that it was abandoned at this date and the western arm was modified due to this activity.

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: 17055

Legacy System: RSM


Leicestershire SMR, (1987)

End of official listing