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Monument record MDR5766 - Stanley Grange, Stanley

Type and Period (2)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Full Description

The most important of the granges once among the possessions of the abbot and convent of Dale was perhaps that of Stanley, which is first mentioned in connection with Abbot William Horsley (1332-1354), in whose days 'the stone chamber' at Stanley Grange was built. Earlier grange buildings must have been built after 1291, as there is no mention of a grange at Stanley in the Papal Taxation Roll of that year. In 1392 there is a documentary reference to a chaplain celebrating divine service daily 'in the said abbot's content's chapel of St Cross, Stanley'. This chapel may have been attached to the grange, as the reference does not appear to relate to Stanley church. While in the possession of the convent the grange was leased to farmers and following the dissolution it passed through the hands of various owners. In about 1611 a small seminary for the education of Catholic boys was established at the Grange by the Lady Anne Vaux. This was described in 1625, following a search for recusants, as follows: "At Stanley Grange, a house standing alone in Appletree hundred, the doors were at the first shut against us, but after a little while opened.. .. .. Upon search of the said house we found so many rooms and chambers as I have never seen in so small a content of ground, and amongst others there was two chapels, one opening into the other, and in either of them a table set to the upper end for an altar, and stools and cushions laid as though they had been lately at mass. Over the altars there was crucifixes set, and other pictures about it. There was beds and furniture for them in that little house to lodge 40 or 50 persons at the least". The school was finally dispersed in 1635. The present buildings at Stanley belong to the late eighteenth and to the nineteenth centuries, but they are on the site of the mediaeval grange. (1) The farmer indicated what he understood to be the school building at SK 4254 4053. It is of no architectural interest. (2) The barn at Stanley Grange is constructed of gritstone and raised in red brick. It has unusual cast iron framed windows. The stone is of large blocks and may be re-used from Dale Abbey. The building looks essentially 19th century in the details but is probably earlier. It is said to have been associated with the Catholic Church for secret services. (3) Documentary sources record the award of substantial land around Stanley to Dale Abbey. The Grange would have produced agricultural produce both to supply the needs of the Abbey and for sale at a profit. The full extent of land belonging to the Grange is difficult to determine, but the tithe schedules suggests that it once comprised much of the land within Stanley parish. Shortly before the dissolution, the Grange appears to have passed from the hands of Dale Abbey into those of the Powtrell family. The Powtrells were well known recusants, and in the early 17th century a Catholic school was established there. It was raided in 1625 and again in c. 1637, after which time it was closed. During the Civil War the Grange was used as a store for arms and ammunition by Royalist forces. After this time there is little documentary evidence relating to it. The most significant changes and additions seem to have occurred while it formed part of the Drury-Low estates in the 19th century, and most of the present farm buildings appear to be the work of this period. The exterior and, where possible, interior elevations of all standing buildings were inspected in 1992. The majority are brick-built, of 18th or 19th century construction and of little architectural or archaeological merit. However, the lower courses of the walls of several of the farm buildings are constructed of large roughly dressed sandstone blocks, suggesting they may in part incorporate the remains of earlier, stone-built structures. According to the farmer, digging in the gardens to the east of the farmyard often uncovers large sandstone blocks at a depth of about 30cm. The north wall of the southern part of the farmhouse is built entirely of stone for its full height, while a large stone-built two-storey barn occupies the entire western range of the farm buildings. The latter is often assumed to be the remains of the 14th century stone building mentioned in the Dale Abbey Chronicle, and to have served as the illegal Catholic school closed by Parliament in the 17th century. However, there is no evidence of a medieval origin for the surviving structure. It seems more likely that the present buildings all form part of a post-dissolution farm built on the site of the medieval Grange. (4) A farmstead, built in the late eighteenth century. Possibly built for John Draycott (1741-1823). It is built on the site of a medieval grange and incorporates reused stonework. The farmhouse is built of red brick in random bond, with dentillated eaves beneath a natural slate roof with gable parapets. It is two storeys tall. The first floor features elongated window openings with segmental heads. The farm buildings to the west are built of coursed dressed stone, raised in red brick. There is an external staircase against the south wall. (5)

Sources/Archives (5)

  • <1> Article in serial: Colvin, H. 1939. 'Dale Abbey - granges, mills and other buildings', Derbyshire Archaeological Journal. Volume 60, pp 142-155.
  • <2> Personal Observation: F1 BHS 09-NOV-66.
  • <3> Unpublished document: County Treasure Recording Form. 10(h).3, with photo.
  • <4> Unpublished document: Walker, J. 1993. Stanley Grange, Derbyshire: An Archaeological Assessment. 93.
  • <5> *Internet Web Site: Erewash Borough Council. List of buildings of local interest. LL/312.



Grid reference Centred SK 4255 4053 (60m by 74m) (Centre)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (2)

  • EDR942
  • EDR1892

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Record last edited

Mar 21 2013 4:46PM

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