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Town and Village Pounds
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Managed By: Icon Here Pound Keepers
You may have stumbled across one, a small, rectangular area bounded by stone walls. It looks like it might be a small cemetery, but there are no headstones to be found! It might just be the old Pound, where stray livestock would be kept until their owners claimed them, with a fee to the Pound Keeper, of course.
Expanded Description:
Originally, the pound was built to hold animals whose owners owed taxes to the government until they either paid their debt, or the animals were sold to cover the tax. They were also used to hold stray livestock, or animals left too long on Common Land. According to one account in Bridgewater, New Jersey, the pound might even have served as a makeshift prison!

The first pounds in New England were built in the early 1600's and were made of wood. In the mid-1700's, these structures began to be replaced by stone walls, better able to stand up to the occasional stray bull. These stone structures have survived the best, and many have been restored by local organizations. You will even find wooden structures at town pounds, these have obviously been repaired and restored.

In Britain, from medieval times on, most villages had a village pound where stray animals were held (called a "pinfold" in Northern England). A fine would be payable by the owner for their release to cover any damage they may have done and the cost of their keep in the pound. If unclaimed they would be sold. See this Wikipedia entry. Active use of pounds died out in the early 20th century.

A few examples are Belstone in Dartmoor, Harley in Shropshire, and Wrentham in Suffolk. All of these examples have been preserved and each has a marker or plaque of sorts.

In the UK preserved pounds are to be found in towns and villages. They should not be confused with sheep-folds which are typically larger walled structures in open country away from population centres.

How do you know if you've found a Pound? Well, many have signs or plaques denoting them as such. If not, they typically have a well defined stone wall (approx 30'x30') with an opening for a gate just big enough for large livestock to fit through. If you aren't sure, the local historical society will likely have info on where the town pound was, or if the town had one.

Modern day pounds and animal shelters will not be accepted in this category, only historical pounds. Locations that qualify for this category are historic in nature. Any structure (if it still remains) would be considered to be an historic artifact. Under normal circumstances these structures would no longer be used to hold animals, would have no private or commercial application, but rather, would only be a location of interest to tourists or history buffs. If you find a structure that appears to have been used to hold livestock or other animals within the last hundred years or so, it is almost certainly not a town pound, and should not be submitted unless you have additional compelling evidence that this structure or location was at one time, an actual town pound.
Instructions for Posting a Town and Village Pounds Waymark:
To post a new waymark in this category, you must:

1. Visit the pound and take accurate coordinates with a GPS.
2. Gather compelling evidence that this site is, indeed, a pound and not just a pile of rocks. A photo of an official sign at the site, old maps showing the site of the pound, information from the historical society describing the location of the pound, or pictures that demonstrate the characteristics typical of the pound: age, size, shape, gate, etc.
3. Take at least one picture showing the entire pound. Pictures must be your original work! It is especially important to get good pictures if there is no additional information identifying this spot as a pound.
4. The title of your waymark should include the town & state in which it is found. For example, "Town Pound, Addison, Michigan." If dates the pound was built/was in use are available, they can be included after the town & state.

If you have additional information about the pound, please feel free to share it with others in the listing. You may even be able to find out the name of the Pound Keeper!
Instructions for Visiting a Waymark in this Category:
Enjoy your visit, and please share with us:

1. At least one original photo of your visit.
2. The date of your visit.
3. What condition you found the pound in.
4. Share your experience & any additional information you may have gathered!
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Town and Village PoundsVillage Pound - Aghagower, Ireland

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This village pound is located in Aghagower, a small village in County Mayo in western Ireland.

posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Marine Biologist

location: Connacht, Ireland

date approved: 6/30/2012

last visited: 5/14/2016

Premium Member Downloads: download.GPX Lite File       download.LOC File       download .KML File (Google Earth)