Sysonby Grange, 450m west of Sysonby Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1016317

Date first listed: 06-Jan-1970

Date of most recent amendment: 24-Oct-1997


Ordnance survey map of Sysonby Grange, 450m west of Sysonby Farm
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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This copy shows the entry on 17-Dec-2018 at 09:24:46.


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

County: Leicestershire

District: Melton (District Authority)

National Grid Reference: SK 73799 21029


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 remains of Sysonby Grange survive well and have been relatively undisturbed by modern activity. The earthworks are in good condition and, together with buried remains, will provide archaeological evidence for both the secular and agricultural activities which occurred here. The site will also retain deposits which will provide information about the economy and environment of the monastic grange during the medieval period.


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


The monument is situated approximately 1km east of Welby on the east bank of a tributary stream of the River Eye and includes the earthwork and buried remains of a monastic grange.

The grange, which is referred to as both Welby Grange and Sysonby Grange in documentary sources, belonged to the Cistercian Abbey of Garendon, Loughborough from at least the early 14th century. The surviving remains of the grange occupy a roughly square area, bounded by ditches on the north and south and by a former course of the stream to the west. The eastern part of the grange was situated to the east of the area of protection but is no longer evident. The surviving boundary features enclose an area of small enclosures, defined by ditches which are thought to have served as drainage channels, and by low banks. Several of these enclosures, in the northern and eastern parts of the site, retain evidence of ridge and furrow cultivation. In the north western corner of the grange is a small pond which has a retaining bank along its western side. It is now dry but was originally fed by a drainage channel entering from the east.

In the south western and central parts of the monument are a number of building platforms and levelled terraces indicating the position of buried features which are believed to represent the sites of agricultural buildings and the monks' domestic accommodation.

All fence posts, the electricity pole and the timber horse jumps are excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath them is included.

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


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

Legacy System number: 21672

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Hartley, R F, The Medieval Earthworks of North-East Leicestershire, (1987), 15
Nichols, J, The History and Antiquities of the County of Leicestershire, (1800), 282-4

End of official listing