The site of A Medieval Monastic Farm.
Just before you come to the grand Victorian buildings of present day Coupar Grange Farm, on the left hand side of the road, lie the remains of a monastic grange of Medieval date, represented by a series of cropmarks visible only on oblique aerial photographs.
The remains represent the original Coupar Grange, a large centralised farm formed to consolidate the land holdings of Coupar Angus Abbey following its establishment in the mid-12th century. The word grange comes through French graunge from Latin granica meaning a granary and the Cistercians, who founded Coupar Angus Abbey, were the first to own such granges.
The farm would have been worked by lay brethren, people who joined the Cistercian Order as workers, and would have supplied the subsistence needs of the abbey. The buildings would have included domestic accommodation, storage buildings, stables, kitchens and other specialised buildings.
According to the Rev. Dr. Robertson in his “Agriculture of Perthshire,” published in 1799, “ At Cupar-Grange the Abbot’s steward resided, who, managing the affairs of the Monastery, often in troublous times prepared there a retreat for his brethren. A century ago it was celebrated for a particular quality of seed-oats, which for a long time went by the name of the Cupar-Grange oats; and which rose cleaner, whiter, and more substantial from kindly soil, sometimes three feet in depth.”
The straw of the Cupar Grange oats was also reckoned the best for feeding cattle.
Also according to the Rev. Dr. Robertson, “there was discovered at Coupar-Grange some years ago a Druidical temple of a construction similar to the greatest one in the County of Kirkmichael, and nearly of the same dimensions. The diameter of the inner circle was sixty feet, the wall itself was five feet high. At the distance of nine feet, an outer wall of the same height was carried round. The space between these concentric circular walls was filled with ashes of wood and bones of different animals, particularly sheep and oxen. A paved way led across the area, from west to east, to a large free stone, standing erect between the circles and rising feet above the pavement. This stone, which seemed to have been the altar, was flat at the top and two feet square."
We can find no other references to this suggestion.