Ancient Monuments

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Animal pound 335m south west of Rudge Hall

A Scheduled Monument in Rudge, Shropshire

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Latitude: 52.5753 / 52°34'31"N

Longitude: -2.28 / 2°16'47"W

OS Eastings: 381120.76093

OS Northings: 297536.03693

OS Grid: SO811975

Mapcode National: GBR 083.DDV

Mapcode Global: WH9DR.YJGK

Entry Name: Animal pound 335m south west of Rudge Hall

Scheduled Date: 5 July 2002

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020659

English Heritage Legacy ID: 34919

County: Shropshire

Civil Parish: Rudge

Traditional County: Shropshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Shropshire

Church of England Parish: Pattingham St Chad

Church of England Diocese: Lichfield


The monument includes the standing structural and buried remains of an animal
pound of probable 18th century date. It is situated on a slight rise at the
intersection of roads that link the village of Pattingham and the neighbouring
hamlets with the road between Bridgnorth and Wolverhampton.
The animal pound is a circular stone walled enclosure, measuring 6.8m
internally. The wall is about 0.4m wide and is constructed of irregularly
coursed sandstone rubble, with flat sandstone coping stones, bonded with a
lime mortar. In relation to the sloping ground on which it stands, the height
of the wall increases from 1.05m at the east to 1.6m at the west. The entrance
into the pound is at the north and is 1.7m wide. Parts of the wall, most
especially around the entrance, were repaired in the late 20th century.
The pound is Listed Grade II.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 1 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 335m south west of Rudge Hall survives well, and is a rare
example of a type of agricultural structure that was once common in this
region. The extant structural remains, together with the buried remains of
the internal floor surface and associated features, such as post holes and
drainage channels, will provide information about the construction of
post-medieval animal pounds and about contemporary herding practices. As a
prominant feature at a road junction, this pound continues to act as an
important local landmark.

Source: Historic England

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