Animal pound and enclosure 220m and 120m south west of High Marks Barn


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1020168

Date first listed: 24-Apr-2002


Ordnance survey map of Animal pound and enclosure 220m and 120m south west of High Marks Barn
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This copy shows the entry on 23-Jan-2019 at 18:42:55.


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

County: Devon

District: South Hams (District Authority)

Parish: Diptford

National Grid Reference: SX 73515 52556, SX 73594 52607


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, the animal pound 220m south west of High Marks Barn survives well. Its walls and interior with its water catchment pond will contain information relating to the pound's construction and use, and will add to the future understanding of the monument. The enclosure nearby also survives well, its stone banks and interior retaining buried remains relating to its construction and use.


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


This monument, which falls into two separate areas of protection, includes a post-medieval animal pound and an enclosure. The land slopes gently to the north and is covered with natural boulders, some of which are large. The long tapering pound is enclosed from the south western corner of an earlier field, the large earth banks of which form its south and west sides, measuring 2.5m wide and 1.5m high, flanked by drainage ditches 2m wide and up to 1m deep. The east side of the pound is a drystone rubble wall of angular quartz blocks, 0.6m wide and a maximum of 1.2m high. A spring in the lower end of the pound feeds a small rectangular drinking pond at its north end, measuring 3m long, 2.5m wide and 0.4m deep. Some 100m to the east is an ovoid enclosure with a stone-faced rubble bank, enclosing a level area measuring 23m from east to west and 15m from north to south. Its walls are between 2.5m and 4m wide and survive up to 0.8m high. A post-medieval hedgebank runs over its east end. This enclosure has been interpreted as being of prehistoric date. The fence posts are excluded from the scheduling, 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: 34873

Legacy System: RSM


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

End of official listing