Ancient Monuments

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Animal pound at junction of Greatheath Road and Holt Road

A Scheduled Monument in North Elmham, Norfolk

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Latitude: 52.7597 / 52°45'34"N

Longitude: 0.943 / 0°56'34"E

OS Eastings: 598681.116

OS Northings: 322068.783

OS Grid: TF986220

Mapcode National: GBR S9K.Z3Q

Mapcode Global: WHLRK.GW9R

Entry Name: Animal pound at junction of Greatheath Road and Holt Road

Scheduled Date: 24 February 2004

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1021131

English Heritage Legacy ID: 35076

County: Norfolk

Civil Parish: North Elmham

Traditional County: Norfolk

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Norfolk

Church of England Parish: Elmham North St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Norwich


The monument includes an animal pound located at the northern edge of North
Elmham village. The pound is depicted on Ordnance Survey maps dating from 1833
and the tithe map of 1839 gives the name of the field immediately to the north
west as `Pound Close'. The structure is a Listed Building Grade II.

The brick-built pound is square in plan, measuring 7m in width with walls
0.3m thick and 1.6m high. They are laid in Flemish bond with semi-circular
brick coping along the walls and stone corner copings. There is an entrance
in the centre of the south east wall which is closed by a modern wooden gate.
A metal plaque attached to the south east wall reads `North Elmham Pound used
for penning stray animals. Built c1830.'

The modern gate and gate posts together with the plaque and fixings are
excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath the posts and
the walls to which the posts and plaque are attached are included.

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 at the junction of Greatheath Road and Holt Road survives
well as a series of standing and buried remains. The buried deposits within
the pound and beneath the walls will preserve remains associated with the
construction, date and use of the pound. The pound is a rare survival of this
class of monument in Norfolk.

Source: Historic England


Norfolk SMR, NF14125, (2002)
Title: North Elmham Tithe Apportionment and Map, DN/TA 364
Source Date: 1839

Source: Historic England

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