- Last Updated: Saturday, 27 March 2021 19:26
- Written by Graham Brooks
Village pinfolds were a major necessity of medieval and later life. They were the place where stray cattle, sheep etc. were placed. The owners could only reclaim their animals on payment of a fine usually to the lord of the manor. Usually a specific individual or a pair of people in the village were given the job of rounding up strayu stock and placing iot in the pound and then collecting the fines. Because the Pinfold was used to keep animals for a period of time there was a need for it to be near a local water supply and so the majority are usually situated next to a well or stream.
Nigel Mills in his book Pounds and Pinfolds of Cumbria (YouCaxton Publications 2014) lists 151 punds of pinfolds in Cumbria. Of these 45 are still recognisable structures, 18 are partial structures 62 can be found on early OS maps but are no longer visible on the ground and 26 he found in documentary evidence such as manor court records but there is no physical or mappping evidence to say where in the village they are.
Below I have illustrated those folds I have visited and photographed. There is also a few folds that I have found documentary evidence for but no site that are not recorded in Nigel's book and finally not all structures are pinfolds and some of these are also illustrated.
Those pinfolds renovated under a five year public art, landscape and Envronment commision grant manged by Cumbria County Council (1996 - 2002) and which had stone pinecones constructed inside by the Artist andy goldsworthy are shown on the Andy Golsworthy page.
Pinfold in Hartley villlage. NY 782 085. Irregular shape said to be heart shaped after the villae name.
Winton village pinfold. On the east end of the village at NY 788 105. A circualr fold.
Mungrisdale village pinfold NY364 300.
This has now been converted into a community garden. One wall has been replaced by a hedge due to road widening.
A small square pinfold at Potts Gill NY 31833 37333.
This is situated in the farm near the track out on to the open fell and was probably used for impounding stock grasing illegally on the common.
Pooley Bridge Pinfold NY 47549 24477.
PINFOLDS WITH DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE ONLY
THE BARONY OF GILSLAND LORD WILLIAM HOWARD’S SURVEY TAKEN 1603.C&WAAS EXTRA SERIES VOL XVI
Wm Graie a pece of land wth a tenemt by a com lane on the south. The Pinfold standeth at the north east corner upon the greene. 4a 2r 15p.
Manor of Corby Court Book Carlisle Archive Centre DHC/3/5
26th July 1781
Pinfold at Great Corby quite out of repair and earnestly solicit the same may be put into repair or a new one built.
No further entries.
The Carlisle journal of 23rd September 1865 carries the following report on a court case.
James Cowan a surface man on the Penrith Road found 2 cattle belongong to Mr James Boustead of Cumwhinton straying on the road near Causeway House. He took them to a pound neear Howgill and informed Mr Boustead.
Mr Boustead sent his two daughters to collect them. but they had no money and the complainant would not let them be released.
About 11 o'clock at night Mr Boustead and his two daughters and another third man went and forcibly released the cattle.
The complainant refused to let them go without payment and the defendant took him by the neck and threatened to split his skull. There was a second charge of assault.
Both offences were proved and MR Boustead was fined £1 for the first offence and 10s for assualt and costs amounting to £3.
There is no evidence of a pund at Howgill and the first edition OS map (1861) does not show a pound.
Structures that look like pinfolds.Occasionally as you walk around villages you come across some structures which look like pinfolds but turn out not to be.
This may look like a village pinfold on the riverside green at Soulby NY 7488 1096. However it isn't it is a commemorative enclosure around the village pump. Erected in 1877 to commemorate Queen Victoria's golden junillee. It is limestone blocks capped with weathered limestone. The pump has a name plate for L. Airey, plumber, Kendal.