Bennington Grange moated site


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:


Ordnance survey map of Bennington Grange moated site
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

South Kesteven (District Authority)
Long Bennington
National Grid Reference:
SK 83734 40765

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.

Bennnington Grange survives well as a series of earthwork and buried deposits. Waterlogging in the moat and ponds will preserve organic remains, such as timber, leather and seeds, which will give an insight into domestic and economic activity on the site. In addition the artificially raised mound and banks will preserve evidence of the land use prior to their construction. The association of the grange with Long Bennington Priory contributes to an understanding of the inter-relationship of contemporary components of the wider medieval landscape.


The monument includes the medieval moated site known as Bennington Grange. The moated site is believed to represent the remains of a monastic grange associated with a monastic house established at Long Bennington in the late 12th century. In the 15th century the grange was granted, with other lands of Long Bennington Priory, to Mount Grace Priory in Yorkshire.

The moated island is roughly oval in plan with straight sides on the north west and north east and covers an area measuring 270m by 170m. The moat, measuring up to 14m in width and 2m deep, encloses an island measuring 250m by 140m with an internal bank lining the southern moat arm. There is a roughly square raised mound in the centre of the island measuring up to 50m in width with an irregular surface indicating the position of buried building remains thought to be the grange farmhouse. At the eastern side of the island is a long, rectangular water-filled pond measuring 60m by 10m which would have provided a supply of fish and fowl. A similar shaped but shorter shallow depression, measuring 20m in length, at the southern side of the island is thought to represent another fishpond.

An embanked channel, or leat, measuring 5m in width, leads north east from the southern moat arm for a distance of approximately 100m and then turns to the south west towards the raised building platform. The channel represents part of the water control system and would have served as a sub-division of the island, partly enclosing the area occupied by the building platform and ponds.

A wide causeway across the moat at the eastern end of the island is thought to represent an original access point onto the island.

All fences 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:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
White, W, History, Gazetteer, and Directory of Lincolnshire, (1856)
Hartley, RF, Leicestershire Museums, 3314/20, (1985)


This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

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