Ancient Monuments

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Animal pound 50m south west of All Saint's Church

A Scheduled Monument in Malborough, Devon

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Latitude: 50.2439 / 50°14'38"N

Longitude: -3.8156 / 3°48'56"W

OS Eastings: 270636.939

OS Northings: 39789.292

OS Grid: SX706397

Mapcode National: GBR QF.13KB

Mapcode Global: FRA 28WD.5B2

Entry Name: Animal pound 50m south west of All Saint's Church

Scheduled Date: 9 May 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019535

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33783

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Malborough

Built-Up Area: Malborough

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Malborough All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


This monument includes an animal pound at the south west corner of All Saint's
churchyard, on the village green. It is now used as a public rest area and
The animal pound is a square walled enclosure, adjoining the churchyard to its
east. It is entered by a gateway on the north side with one freestanding
gatepost of rough schist. The pound walls of mortared schist rubble are 0.5m
thick and stand up to 1.05m high. A number of small holes on the west side
have been opened out from recesses opening into the pound, measuring from 0.4m
to 0.5m wide and set 0.6m from the ground. It is understood that these are
rifle loops from the World War II, when the pound was adapted for use as a
Home Guard post. The floor inside the pound has recently been laid with
moulded blue stable bricks.
Excluded from the scheduling are all modern surfacings both within the pound
and where these fall within the monument's 2m protective margin, although the
ground beneath them is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

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 50m south west of All Saint's Church is an unusual survival
in an area where few examples have been recorded. Its walls and interior will
contain archaeological information relating to the way in which it was used,
both in the medieval period and more recently. Its adaptation for use in World
War II is an unusual feature.

Source: Historic England


MPP fieldwork by R Waterhouse, Waterhouse, R, (2000)
MPP fieldwork by R Waterhouse, Waterhouse, R, (2000)

Source: Historic England

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