BLANKNEY: LINWOOD GRANGE
The earthworks surveyed are five kilometres east of Blankney village, immediately south of Linwood Hall and alongside the Roman Car Dyke. At this point the Car Dyke, which more or less follows the six metre contour in this area, turns westward at a fairly sharp angle on account of a small valley sloping eastwards to the fen from the high ground of Linwood Moor. The house is marked as 'Linwood Hall and remains of Grange' on the old series 6" Ordnance Survey map (Fig 26, and Foster refers to fragments of the original buildings incorporated into the present house (1). The same map shows a number of fishponds south-west of the house and a possible moat fragment to the north of it, but these were not accessible at the time of survey, and the extent of their survival is not known. In isolation, therefore, the plan (Fig 27) is somewhat incomprehensible. Popular local belief has it that the earthworks surveyed were part of a Roman dock on the Car Dyke, but there is no foundation for this theory and presumably the early watercourse was being used in the medieval period as a source of supply or drainage (2) for the moat and fishpond complex. As such, the site must therefore relate to part of the grange which belonged to the abbey of Kirkstead. The foundation's interest in the area dates from the early twelfth century, when Walter de Aincurt granted it all his land in Cotes and confirmed various gifts of his tenants. A curia is first recorded in 1140 (3). The grange, along with another in the parish of Blankney called Kyrkestedeheyth, was given over to intensive wool production, and various references are found to pounds, woolhouses, and sheep pens (4).
1 Lincs DB, liv.
2. This does not exclude the possibility of Roman settlement, but at present any evidence is lacking.
3. Kirkstead Cartulary, f.32-32v nos iiii, vii, viii. I am grateful to Dr T. Foulds for these references.
4. Kirkstead Cartulary, f.47 no xxiiii, f. 63 no cxxv; Religious Houses, 115.