monastic grange

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A consolidated block of monastic demense land, anything from 30 ha to more than 2000 ha in extent, and usually some distance away from the monastery that owns it. Granges were worked as estate farms more or less independently of the manorial system with its communal agriculture and servile labour. At the heart of the grange were farm buildings, paddocks, gardens, granaries, industrial areas and workshops, and a chapel. Granges were especially characteristic of the holdings of Cistercian abbeys, but the system was imitated by other orders including the Premonstratensians, Gilbertines, and some of the older‐established orders such as the Benedictines and the Cluniacs. Some monastic granges had particular functions, for example as agrarian farms, sheep farms (bercaries), cattle ranches (vaccaries), horse studs, or industrial workings.

Subjects: Archaeology.

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