The monument at Garendon is situated 2km west of Loughborough and includes the below ground remains of a Cistercian abbey and post medieval mansion, a fishpond and a prospect mound. The monument is divided into two areas.
The first area includes the abbey which was founded in 1133 as a daughter house of the Cistercian house of Maverley in Surrey. Following dissolution in 1536 a Palladian mansion was built over the west part of the abbey in the 17th century, the cellars of which incorporated part of the abbey structure. The mansion was in turn demolished in 1964. Excavations in 1966-68 established the plans of the chapter house and dormitory of the abbey and located parts of the north and south transept chapels of the abbey church to the north. The abbey drain later used by the 17th century mansion as part of the sewage system lies on the south side of the abbey buildings and originally extended from a pond situated to the west carrying water and refuse from the abbey to an underground cess pit to the east of the abbey. The western part of the drain has not been investigated but the known length extends for 75m and is 1.6m high and 0.8m wide in maximum dimensions. From the excavation evidence the location of the cellars of the mansion, and parallels with the plans of other Cistercian houses, the abbey complex is known to have covered an area measuring approximately 70m x 80m but it is possible that the buildings extended beyond the area of the scheduling. The 17th century mansion is known to have measured approximately 100m x 40m.
The second area lies to the south east and contains an oval shaped prospect mound at its eastern end measuring 25m x 15m and 3m high with a shallow ditch on its south eastern side. The mound formed a part of the formal garden laid out following the construction of the mansion in the 17th century. To the east of the mound is a fishpond originally belonging to the abbey but adapted as a 17th century garden feature. The fishpond measures 140m x 12m at its widest point narrowing to 4m wide at its eastern end. There are known to have been further fishponds in the area but they have been modified by later landscaping.
Two features of the abbey can be seen today; the exposed remains, chapter house and a section of the drain, the top of which is at the present ground level. A building known as the shooting lodge situated on the north side of the first area is excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath it is included.