GRANGE (through the A.-Fr. graunge, from the Med. Lat. granea, a place for storing grain, granum), properly a granary or barn. In the middle ages a “grange” was a detached portion of a manor with farm-houses and barns belonging to a lord or to a religious house; in it the crops could be conveniently stored for the purpose of collecting rent or tithe. Thus, such barns are often known as “tithe-barns.” In many cases a chapel was included among the buildings or stood apart as a separate edifice. The word is still used as a name for a superior kind of farm-house, or for a country-house which has farm-buildings and agricultural land attached to it.
Architecturally considered, the “grange” was usually a long building with high wooden roof, sometimes divided by posts or columns into a sort of nave and aisles, and with walls strongly buttressed. Sometimes these granges were of very great extent; one at St Leonards, Hampshire, was originally 225 ft. long by 75 ft. wide, and a still larger one (303 ft. long) existed at Chertsey. Ancient granges, or tithe-barns, still exist at Glastonbury, Bradford-on-Avon, St Mary’s Abbey, York, and at Coxwold. A fine example at Peterborough was pulled down at the end of the 19th century. In France there are many examples in stone of the 12th, 13th and 14th centuries; some divided into a central and two side aisles by arcades in stone. Externally granges are noticeable on account of their great roofs and the slight elevation of the eaves, from 8 to 10 ft. only in height. In the 15th century they were sometimes protected by moats and towers. At Ardennes in Normandy, where the grange was 154 ft. long; Vauclerc near Laon, Picardy, 246 ft. long and in two storeys; at Perrières, St Vigor, near Bayeux, and Ouilly near Falaise, all in Normandy; and at St Martin-au-Bois (Oise) are a series of fine examples. Attached to the abbey of Longchamps, near Paris, is one of the best-preserved granges in France, with walls in stone and internally divided into three aisles in oak timber of extremely fine construction.
In the social economic movement in the United States of America, which began in 1867 and was known as the “Farmers’ Movement,” “grange” was adopted as the name for a local chapter of the Order of the Patrons of Husbandry, and the movement is thus often known as the “Grangers’ Movement” (see Farmers’ Movement). There are a National Grange at Washington, supervising the local divisions, and state granges in most states.