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


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


Ordnance survey map of Animal pound on Woodbury Road, 275m south east of the church
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

East Devon (District Authority)
Clyst St. George
National Grid Reference:
SX 98511 88659

Reasons for Designation

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 protection.

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.


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 included.

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


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

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Title: Ordnance Survey 1st Edition Source Date: 1889 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:


This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

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