Ancient Monuments

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Isfield pound

A Scheduled Monument in Isfield, East Sussex

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.9458 / 50°56'44"N

Longitude: 0.061 / 0°3'39"E

OS Eastings: 544883.184502

OS Northings: 118282.613597

OS Grid: TQ448182

Mapcode National: GBR LQH.Q7Y

Mapcode Global: FRA C60L.X66

Entry Name: Isfield pound

Scheduled Date: 3 February 1978

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1002203

English Heritage Legacy ID: ES 444

County: East Sussex

Civil Parish: Isfield

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): East Sussex

Church of England Parish: Isfield St Margaret

Church of England Diocese: Chichester

Summary

Isfield Pound, 80m SSW of Tudor Cottage.

Source: Historic England

Details

This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 24 February 2015. This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.

The monument includes an 18th or 19th century animal pound situated on the west side of Station Road, near Clappers Bridge on the River Uck.

The pound is rectangular in plan and measures approximately 11m by 8m externally with walls up to 1.75m high and 0.4m thick. It is constructed of red brick capped with a stone coping and features ashlar quoins in the front corners. The shorter walls both have a slit aperture made from reused window mouldings. There is a single entrance facing the roadside, to the east, with a five-barred oak gate set in the wall.

The pound was restored in 1990. It is marked as ‘Manor Pound’ on 1875 and 1899 Ordnance Survey maps (1:2500).

Isfield Pound is listed Grade II.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

The term animal pound is derived from the Anglo-Saxon word ‘pund’ meaning enclosure, and is used to describe stock-proof areas for confining stray or illegally pastured stock and legally-kept animals rounded up at certain times of the year from areas of common grazing. The earliest documentary references to pounds date from the 12th century, and they continued to be constructed and used throughout the medieval and post-medieval periods. Most surviving examples are likely to be less than three centuries old, and most will have fallen into disuse in the late 19th or early 20th century. Animal pounds are usually located in villages or towns though some lie in more open locations, particularly on the edge of old woodlands and commons. Construction methods vary according to the availability of building materials: stone, brick, fencing, iron railings and earthworks being used to enclose areas ranging from 4m by 6m to over 0.5ha. The walls are normally about 1.5m high, although greater heights are not uncommon as attempts to prevent poundbreach. In addition to stock control, animals were sometimes taken as a ‘distress’ (seizure of property in lieu of debt or to enforce payment) and kept under the care of the pinder or hayward until redeemed. Pounds are usually unroofed and have a single entrance, although some have additional low entrances to allow the passage of sheep and pigs while retaining larger stock. Other features include rudimentary shelters for the pound-keeper, laid floors, drainage channels, troughs and internal partitions to separate the beasts.

Animal pounds are widely distributed throughout England, with particular concentrations in the west and Midlands. About 250 examples are known to survive in fair condition, with perhaps another 150 examples recorded either as remains, or from documentary evidence alone. Pounds illustrate a specialised aspect of past social organisation and animal husbandry, and reflect the use and former appearance of the surrounding landscape. All examples surviving in good condition, particularly those supported by historical evidence for ownership and function, are considered worthy of protection.

Isfield Pound survives in very good condition and will contain archaeological and environmental information relating to its construction and use. It is a good example of its type and a significant testament to the management of animals during the post-medieval period in this part of East Sussex.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
East Sussex HER 4475. NMR TQ41NW9. PastScape 406465.

Source: Historic England

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