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Pounds and Pinfolds

Field Broughton Pound, Cumbria



I have completed 10 years of research into the "History and Mystery" of the Pinfolds of Cumbria and  have just had published a book entitled "Pounds and Pinfolds of Cumbria". It is described by the publisher as a scholarly and well-researched account which provides a comprehensive and unique insight into a little-considered aspect of our rural heritage and into the way of life of the men and women who farmed our hills in days gone by. As well as explaining the purpose, use and management of pounds and pinfolds from original and secondary sources I have included information on the present state of over 160 sites found in Cumbria with images of those still substantially intact.

I hope this publication will encourage others to investigate sites in their own home counties. The book may be purchased from me at £10 which includes postage and packing. If you wish to buy a copy please email me using the link below.


Welcome to the Pounds and Pinfolds web site run by Nigel Mills ....... 
Pounds and Pinfolds were originally built to hold animals found straying from their owner's land or grazing on the common without common rights. The animals would only be released on payment of a fine to the Pinder who was an officer of the Lord of the Manor. 
Each village or township as early as the 16th century would probably have had a Pound or Pinfold but relatively few remain today. Surviving Pounds and Pinfolds are often listed buildings but many more are falling into disrepair and disappearing from the landscape.
The intention of this website is to raise awareness of these modest buildings by identifying all of the surviving examples, recording their location and condition and encouraging their restoration or preservation. 

I have already located a number of Pounds and Pinfolds in Cumbria, sponsored by The Friends of the Lake District. I am currently researching the history of these usually modest structures to find out who built them, who appointed the Pinder, how they were used and misused, their legal framework, the impact their use had on the rural community and why they fell into their present largely neglected state. 

Edenhall Pinfold, Cumbria

Pinfolds come in all shapes and sizes and since they ceased to be used for their original purpose they have been put to various uses. Some have been roofed to provide dry storage, some have seats and several are now used as a children's playground. This one at Edenhall, Cumbria is a well kept and productive sheltered  garden.  

Funding to restore a Pound or Pinfold is available from several sources. It does take a concerted effort to identify the most appropriate source and also to find a local dry stone waller or skilled craftsman who has an interest in restoration and a knowledge of  the building techniques necessary to keep the original look of the structure. 


Staveley-in-Cartmel Pound

The Pound at Staveley-in-Cartmel has been "modernised" with an added window and roof and its condition is now gradually deteriorating.
Have you ever wondered what is the difference between a Pound and a Pinfold? or where sheepfolds, bields and stells fit into the picture then click below for the answer to these and other FAQ's about Pounds and Pinfolds. 

Click here to find the answer!

If you have an interest in Pounds and Pinfolds, if you know of one near you, if you have already restored or repaired one or if you can tell me anything about the history and use of them please contact me using the link below.

This web site will be used to record the existence and condition of pounds and pinfolds, offer contributed practical advice on seeking funds to preserve them and share the existence of any historical knowledge.

I am also seeking any historical references to pounds and pinfolds on old maps, church and parish records, manor court records and any information on the keeper of the pound, the Pinder. If you can help please contact me using the link below.

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Project of the Field Broughton Historical Society, Field Broughton, Cumbria

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