ASLACKBY AND LAUGHTON: LAUGHTON GRANGE
This moated site is situated in the extreme south-west of the township of Laughton (Fig 24) and can be identified as a grange. The complex was largely excavated by W. F. Grimes in 1943, ahead of the construction of Folkingham aerodrome, when substantial remains were uncovered. The western enclosure contained a walled yard, with entrance to the west, around which were grouped a timber-framed building set on slight stone foundations to the north, interpreted as a barn; a small store house to the north-east; a stone built, possibly two storey structure to the south-east, which probably had domestic or light industrial functions; and another large range to the south (details and interpretation unavailable). There was no sign of a gateway commanding access to the smaller enclosure; entry was via a simple metalled causeway which appeared to be later than the excavation of the cross ditch but was evidently in use during the life of the building beyond. Only one structure was found in the smaller enclosure, which Grimes described as the 'inner court'. It was apparently well-built of stone throughout. Its function was not immediately apparent, but it was interpreted as a domestic range of one kind or another (1). All the pottery recovered from the site was dated between the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries. However, in the light of its small volume, it must be suspected that the record is incomplete.
The complex can probably be identified as the grange or manor of Twynge which belonged to Sempringham Abbey (2). The estate seems to have been granted by Asceline de Waterville, who probably retained a life interest, and confirmed by Alice de Gant in or before c.1184 (3). It had been sokeland that belonged to the soke of Folkingham in 1086, and it is not clear whether the Waterville family had a manor house in the vill (4). It is likely, however, that Sempringham built its grange on a virgin site soon after being granted the land. No records of estate management have come to light. The farm was probably still in existence at the time of the Dissolution, but must have fallen into decay and disuse after the grant of the land to Lord Clinton and various other entrepreneurs following the Dissolution (5).
The plan shown (Fig 25) was made in 1979 when the airfield was being returned to agricultural use. Little survived in the way of earthworks, and the information was taken chiefly from observation of drainage trenches; the resulting plan does not altogether correspond either with that recorded by Grimes or with the 6" to 1 mile Ordnance Survey map of 1905.
1. W. F. Grimes, Interim Report, typescript TLA, Sleaford.
2. Religious Houses ii, 123.
3. 'Charters Relating to the Priory of Sempringham', ed. E. M. Poynton, The Genealogist, new ser. 15, (1899), 161; ibid., 16, (1900), 31-2. Land was also held from the Wake fee in the vill.
4. Lincs DB, 24/96.
5. Religious Houses ii, 123; LPFD 14, part i, 73; LPFD 16, 460; LPFD 20 part i, 520; LPFD 21, part i, 572.