The Luffield Priory Grange at Monkbarn
Northamptonshire Archaeology, 2002, 30, pp. 126-139
The origins and development of the monastic demesne of Monksbarn can be traced in eighteen documents contained in the Luffield Priory cartulary. These provide valuable information regarding the nature of the agricultural resources of the grange, its general location and size. Cartographic analysis and archaeological fieldwork has allowed the site of the grange and its lands to be accurately identified and the arrangement of landuse to be defined.
Monksbarn has its origins in a grant of 80 acres of land in a corner of Norton Wood made by William de Clairvaux to the priory in c. 1220-5. This land lay between two assarts, one made by Galfridus, son of Peter, from his wife’s land, the other by Henry de Perie from land owned by Count Baldwin. The land also neighboured an arable holding of Galfridus de Pauely. A second document of the same date allowed the monks to cultivate these 80 acres, saving one third of the crop for William himself, and to fold their animals thereon. The demesne was further added to either at the same time or immediately thereafter (1225-35) with the acquisition of an assart and two acres of woodland from John Marshall from whom William de Clairvaux held his original gift. This close landholding tie between the two grantors might suggest that the grants were made together and thus should be dated to 1225. A further addition was made in c. 1240 with the grant by Henry de Perie of his small assart lying between his great assart and that of the priory, located on the road called Wodekespat. This accumulated landholding remained in the priory’s hands for a further 110 years until it was finally leased in 1351 to Adam de Cortendale and his wife for two lives, the first document to mention the manor by name.