Monasteries, manors & economic powerhouses
Topic 4: Landlords
Whilst the lands held by secular (non-religious) landlords were administrated by the manorial system, the lands held by the church and the various monastic orders were administrated in a number of ways and this, combined with the administration of church tithes, resulted in some specific and important additions to the medieval settlement pattern.
The simplest form of ecclesiastic administration was renting property to tenants. In this respect the church or religious order would behave in a similar way to a secular landlord and there would be little difference in the day to day activities of the tenants. As such these sites are only detectable through written records and accounts.
The next step up from tenanted properties, were granges. A grange is essentially a farm or estate held by one of the monastic orders, but not occupied by the monks or nuns themselves.
Granges do not necessarily have any particular monastic structures and are organised in a similar way to manors and large farms. They may, however, contain a tithe barn, and this can be a substantial structure that survives to the present day.
Although the monastic granges were seized by Henry VIII, many remained in name and it is possible to find Grange Farm and The Grange as place names and road names such as Grange Lane.
1st edition Ordnance Survey map of Ingham showing The Grange and Grange Lane, believed to be the site of a medieval grange.