Post-medieval animal pound 430m south of East Soar Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1020576

Date first listed: 16-Oct-2002


Ordnance survey map of Post-medieval animal pound 430m south of East Soar Farm
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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: Malborough

National Grid Reference: SX 72026 36671


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 post-medieval animal pound and earthwork 430m south of East Soar survive well. The walls and earthworks will contain information relating to the construction of the site, while the interior of the pound is likely to contain environmental deposits relating to its use.


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


This monument includes a post-medieval animal pound containing remains of a 19th century shippon and an earthwork which lies immediately to its south west. The monument is located on the south side of a shallow valley with spectacular coastal views to the east. The pound is located in the corner of a field where a spring rises, its side walls each measuring 12m long, from 0.4m to 0.7m wide and up to 2m high. The third side is a curving stone faced bank from 0.4m to 2m wide and 1.7m high, with two entrances. A third narrow entrance pierces the north wall at its east end. A small open fronted linhay was built in the north west corner of the pound in the early 19th century, its roof supported on vertical stone slabs. A manger of vertical stone slabs 1.2m high, set edge to edge, survives at the rear of the building. An earthwork just south west of the animal pound is believed to have been an associated shepherd's hut and survives as a square mound of earth and stones measuring 10m wide and surviving up to 1m high with a central depression 4.5m wide and 0.4m deep. All 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: 34886

Legacy System: RSM


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

End of official listing