Ancient Monuments

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Animal pound on Woodbury Road, 275m south east of the church

A Scheduled Monument in Clyst St. George, Devon

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Latitude: 50.6887 / 50°41'19"N

Longitude: -3.4381 / 3°26'17"W

OS Eastings: 298511.451

OS Northings: 88658.785

OS Grid: SX985886

Mapcode National: GBR P3.P71B

Mapcode Global: FRA 37P8.2DT

Entry Name: Animal pound on Woodbury Road, 275m south east of the church

Scheduled Date: 9 March 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019047

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33022

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Clyst St. George

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Clyst St George

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


The monument includes a square, late 18th to early 19th century, stone-built
animal pound located on the north side of the B3179 Woodbury Road just outside
the village of Clyst St George, in what is believed to be its original
position. The pound was restored in 1994 after its rediscovery in 1980
following the felling of diseased elm trees. The pound, which acted as a
temporary enclosure in which straying or illegally pastured stock were
confined, is clearly marked in its present position on a first edition
Ordnance Survey plan of 1889.
The pound has walls constructed of mortared local stone which are 1.65m high
capped by large, tooled, semi-circular coping stones of which eight have been
replaced on the northern wall by concrete copies. The 4.6m square enclosure
has a single gated entrance on the west side which is about 1m wide. The
original gate mountings survive although the wooden gate itself is modern and
was made for the restoration of 1994; a plaque on the gate records this work
which was undertaken with a grant from East Devon District Council. The
interior of the pound has been provided with a flooring of stone chippings
which also date from the restoration work.
The replacement wooden gate and the loose stone chippings of the interior are
excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features is

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

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

The animal pound on Woodbury Road, 275m south east of the church survives well
with all four of its walls intact and with only a relatively small number of
its coping stones replaced in modern times. It is a highly prominent feature,
being sited just off the road from Clyst St George to Woodbury and it acts as
a visible reminder of former countryside practices. The monument will retain
architectural and archaeological details which will provide information about
its construction and use.

Source: Historic England


Title: Ordnance Survey 1st Edition
Source Date: 1889

Source: Historic England

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