Ancient Monuments

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Post-medieval animal pound 430m south of East Soar Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Malborough, Devon

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Latitude: 50.2161 / 50°12'58"N

Longitude: -3.7952 / 3°47'42"W

OS Eastings: 272019.3502

OS Northings: 36666.0729

OS Grid: SX720366

Mapcode National: GBR QG.8W8J

Mapcode Global: FRA 28YG.78W

Entry Name: Post-medieval animal pound 430m south of East Soar Farm

Scheduled Date: 16 October 2002

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020576

English Heritage Legacy ID: 34886

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Malborough

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Malborough All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


This monument includes a post-medieval animal pound containing remains of a
19th century shippon and an earthwork which lies immediately to its south
west. The monument is located on the south side of a shallow valley with
spectacular coastal views to the east.
The pound is located in the corner of a field where a spring rises, its side
walls each measuring 12m long, from 0.4m to 0.7m wide and up to 2m high. The
third side is a curving stone faced bank from 0.4m to 2m wide and 1.7m high,
with two entrances. A third narrow entrance pierces the north wall at its
east end. A small open fronted linhay was built in the north west corner of
the pound in the early 19th century, its roof supported on vertical stone
slabs. A manger of vertical stone slabs 1.2m high, set edge to edge, survives
at the rear of the building. An earthwork just south west of the animal pound
is believed to have been an associated shepherd's hut and survives as a square
mound of earth and stones measuring 10m wide and surviving up to 1m high with
a central depression 4.5m wide and 0.4m deep.
All fence posts are excluded from the scheduling, 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

Despite slight damage, the post-medieval animal pound and earthwork 430m
south of East Soar survive well. The walls and earthworks will contain
information relating to the construction of the site, while the interior
of the pound is likely to contain environmental deposits relating to its

Source: Historic England


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

Source: Historic England

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