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


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1019535

Date first listed: 09-May-2001


Ordnance survey map of Animal pound 50m south west of All Saint's Church
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This copy shows the entry on 18-Jan-2019 at 18:29:38.


The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Devon

District: South Hams (District Authority)

Parish: Malborough

National Grid Reference: SX 70637 39789


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

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 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.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


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 garden. 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.

MAP EXTRACT 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.


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

Legacy System number: 33783

Legacy System: RSM


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

End of official listing