Animal pound at junction of Greatheath Road and Holt Road


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1021131

Date first listed: 24-Feb-2004


Ordnance survey map of Animal pound at junction of Greatheath Road and Holt Road
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This copy shows the entry on 11-Dec-2018 at 15:22:30.


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

County: Norfolk

District: Breckland (District Authority)

Parish: North Elmham

National Grid Reference: TF 98681 22069


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 at the junction of Greatheath Road and Holt Road survives well as a series of standing and buried remains. The buried deposits within the pound and beneath the walls will preserve remains associated with the construction, date and use of the pound. The pound is a rare survival of this class of monument in Norfolk.


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


The monument includes an animal pound located at the northern edge of North Elmham village. The pound is depicted on Ordnance Survey maps dating from 1833 and the tithe map of 1839 gives the name of the field immediately to the north west as `Pound Close'. The structure is a Listed Building Grade II.

The brick-built pound is square in plan, measuring 7m in width with walls 0.3m thick and 1.6m high. They are laid in Flemish bond with semi-circular brick coping along the walls and stone corner copings. There is an entrance in the centre of the south east wall which is closed by a modern wooden gate. A metal plaque attached to the south east wall reads `North Elmham Pound used for penning stray animals. Built c1830.'

The modern gate and gate posts together with the plaque and fixings are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath the posts and the walls to which the posts and plaque are attached are included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 1 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: 35076

Legacy System: RSM


Norfolk SMR, NF14125, (2002)
Title: North Elmham Tithe Apportionment and Map, DN/TA 364 Source Date: 1839 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

End of official listing