Animal pound at The Pound, 620m south of Roborough House


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1019786

Date first listed: 11-Dec-2001


Ordnance survey map of Animal pound at The Pound, 620m south of Roborough House
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Devon

District: South Hams (District Authority)

Parish: Bickleigh

National Grid Reference: SX 50355 62368


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.

Despite slight damage to its wall, the animal pound at The Cottage is an unusual survival in an area where few examples are known. Its walls and interior will contain archaeological information about its use and construction.


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


This monument includes an animal pound, located on the west side of the former Tavistock Road at the north end of Roborough village. It flanks the entrance to The Cottage, a 19th century estate worker's house. The monument survives as a sub-rectangular walled enclosure with a blocked gateway on its east side. The wall is up to 1.8m high and 0.45m thick and is curved at the south east corner. It is built of mortared slate and quartz rubble with some carved lava fragments. Some reconstruction, particularly of the roadside wall, is suggested by a granite block with a benchmark, reused upside down in the north jamb of the gateway. The gateway, centrally set in the east wall, is 2m wide, blocked with cemented slate rubble. An earth hedgebank, fronted with drystone rubble, continues the line of the east wall to the north. The road and path surfacings are excluded from the scheduling where they fall within the pound's 2m protective margin, as is the paved and gravel surface inside the pound. The ground beneath them is, however, 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: 33772

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Gray, V, Roborough Parish Checklist, (1982)

End of official listing