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HER Number:MDV6272
Name:Dunnabridge Pound


Dunnabridge Pound, recorded as early as 1342 but likely to date much earlier than this. It was used for enclosing stock, and may have been built on the site of a prehistoric pound.


Grid Reference:SX 646 746
Map Sheet:SX67SW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishDartmoor Forest
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishLYDFORD

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: 443295
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX67SW/38
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II): 92738
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: SX67SW22
  • SHINE Candidate (Yes)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • POUND (Early Bronze Age to Post Medieval - 2200 BC to 1750 AD (Between))

Full description

Swete, R. J. (Revd), 1792-1801, 564M 'Picturesque Sketches of Devon' by Reverend John Swete (Record Office Collection). SDV337942.

Illustrations by Swete. Other details: 17/23.

Wilkinson, J. G., 1862, On British Remains on Dartmoor, 119 (Article in Serial). SDV277122.

Ordnance Survey, 1880-1899, First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map (Cartographic). SDV336179.

'Dunnabridge Pound' shown on 19th century map.

Collier, W. F., 1887, Venville Rights on Dartmoor, 383 (Article in Serial). SDV346911.

Dunnabridge Pound was the Duchy pound where stray cattle were impounded.

Lega-Weekes, E., 1904-1905, Dartmoor Notes, 125 (Article in Serial). SDV346915.

Entry in Court Roll of 1547 for repairs to Dunnabridge Pound.

Ordnance Survey, 1906, 107NE (Cartographic). SDV336771.

Crossing, W., 1912 (1965), Crossing's Guide to Dartmoor (Monograph). SDV320981.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1950 - 1988, SX67SW22 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV346912.

Built on the foundations of an ancient pound. A 0.93 hectare drift pound, known as Dunnabridge Pound, mentioned in 1342 and also in 1660 when expenses are recorded for repairing the "pound walls, gate and stocks at Dunnabridge". The pound may be an adapted Prehistoric feature but there is no proof. Part of the wall is a covered seat.
The pound occupies 0.9 hectares on a slight south slope, and is of rather oval form with greatest diameters of 110 metres by 122 metres. Enclosed by a drystone wall 1.9 metres high and about 1 metre thick at the base, tapering towards the top. Material is mostly medium size moor stones with some large blocks and upright slabs incorporated at the base. Uneven interior is slightly raised at s perimeter and cut into the slope on the north, accompanied by a spread of stones, 1.5 metres long and 0.3 metres high, extending from the inner face and up to 0.6 metres high. The only entrance to be seen is the gated one on the south. Worth is uncertain, but other writers such as Burnard and Crossing consider the enclosure to have a Prehistoric origin, but none noticed the hut circles listed by Greeves, now stripped of stone and rather amorphous features. The condition of all three is, such as to preclude any firm identification but Greeves' observations cannot be discounted. The cross wall at SX64627463 is traceable for 56 metres, with one 7 metre gap. Much robbed, it now consists of a turf covered bank 3 metres wide and 0.3 metres high, incorporating some large and medium size earthfast stones. The bank starts 30 metres from the south-south-west wall of the pound and ends 6 metres from the north-north-east side. The short extension outside that appears on the aerial photograph is traceable for 20 metres on the ground, that could relate to a field system. 35 metres to the south-east and 25 metres to the north0-west are the remains of two other banks, one 36 metres long the other 24 metres long. Both are similar to the bisecting one and almost parallel with it. If these represent former fields they would almost certainly pre-date the fields or the enclosure. The south-east bank extends, with breaks, 60 metres beyond the pound. Three other items within the pound could be the result of stone gathering. Two mounds of stones, 3.5 metres, and 5 metres in diameter and 0.2 metres to 0.4 metres high, are at SX64637462 and a ragged scarp 25 metres long and 0.4 metres high occurs at SX64587463.
A stone trough in the south-east part against the wall fed with fresh water from an adjacent wellhead first by a leat, later by an iron pipe. Other details: Plan.

Worth, R. H., 1953, Dartmoor, 475-7 (Monograph). SDV231148.

Other details: Figure.

Fogwill, E. G., 1954, Pastoralism on Dartmoor, 105 (Article in Serial). SDV346914.

One of the pounds used to assemble the drifts of livestock on the moor to establish Venville Rights. Still used today as it has been since at least 1342. Formed on the site of an earlier enclosure.

Willmott Dobbie, B. M., 1979, Pounds or Pinfolds and Lockups, 29 (Monograph). SDV21958.

National Monuments Record, 1979, SF1509 (Aerial Photograph). SDV346618.

Greeves, T. A. P., 1981, Untitled Source (Worksheet). SDV346913.

This impressive pound is a remodelled Prehistoric enclosure. There are two conjoining hut circles within it, and a possible one against the wall. A bank runs north-east to south-west across the pound. Other details: Sketch.

Greeves, T. A. P., 1982, Dunnabridge Farm (Plan - measured). SDV266230.

Hemery, E., 1983, High Dartmoor (Monograph). SDV249702.

Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England, 1985, SX67SW (Cartographic). SDV346928.

Pound visible and recorded but hut circles not visible.

Department of Environment, 1987, Lydford, 2 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV266265.

Butler, J., 1991, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Two - The North, 54-55 (Monograph). SDV219155.

Dunnabridge Pound was in existence long before it was first mentioned in 1342. In the four annual drifts stock pastured illegally on the east, south and west quarters of the moor were brought to Dunnabridge Pound and owners were fined before livestock could be reclaimed. The present wall closely follows that of its Prehistoric predecessor, which forms its foundation below the downhill section but is visible as a low bank inside the wall around the rest of the perimeter. Centuries of use and probably deliberate clearance have left few traces of the settlement within. Some scattered stony mounds are perhaps the remains of interior walls or dwellings, two of which are still recognisable. A short length of ancient walling descends the slope from the edge of a hut lying a few metres from the eastern perimeter and the circular outline of the second can be distinguished against the north bank.Dunnabridge is the largest of a group of five similar enclosures all within two kilometres and each surrounded by a massive wall with an undivided interior containing very few huts. Other details: Map 28, Site 1.

Gerrard, S., 2004, List of Sites Remaining to be Considered for Designation on Dartmoor (Un-published). SDV345444.

Dunnabridge Pound was considered for designation as a Scheduled Ancient Monument in 2004. Other details: Site 125.

English Heritage, 2005-2008, Prehistoric Survey Information (Report - Survey). SDV345521.

Outline enclosing three hut circles shown.

Gerrard, S., 2006, Dartmoor Nationally Important Sites (Cartographic). SDV345607.

Outline enclosing Dunnabridge Pound shown.

National Monuments Record, 2011, 443295 (National Monuments Record Database). SDV346916.

Dunnabridge Pound.

English Heritage, 2011, Images of England (Website). SDV346169.

Dunnabrdge Pound was Listed on 28th October 1987. Likely to be a Medieval pound although some rebuilding may have subsequently occurred. Drystone wall constructed of large rough granite blocks in roughly circular plan. Entrance faces present road and is divided by granite monolith into a wider and narrower opening. Immediately to its left inside the pound is a large stone seat integral with the wall with a large granite canopy above providing shelter. This pound is not only very well preserved but it is also important in the context of the history of the moor and its ancient tenements: a document of 1627 records that the tenants of the ancient tenements "have been accustomed time out of mind to make three several drifts yearly for cattle and one for horses depasturing upon the said Forest to Dynabridge pound and are to attend there two or three days and nights for the watering and pasturing of the said Cattle". The tenants who complied with this were given a halfpenny loaf and those who refused were fined 6s 8d. Other details: LBS Number 92738.

Ordnance Survey, 2011, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV346129.

'Dunnabridge Pound' shown on modern mapping.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV219155Monograph: Butler, J.. 1991. Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Two - The North. Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Two - The North. Two. Paperback Volume. 54-55.
SDV21958Monograph: Willmott Dobbie, B. M.. 1979. Pounds or Pinfolds and Lockups. Pounds or Pinfolds and Lockups. Unknown. 29.
SDV231148Monograph: Worth, R. H.. 1953. Dartmoor. Dartmoor. Hardback Volume. 475-7.
SDV249702Monograph: Hemery, E.. 1983. High Dartmoor. High Dartmoor. Hardback Volume.
SDV266230Plan - measured: Greeves, T. A. P.. 1982. Dunnabridge Farm. 1:25,000. Plan.
SDV266265List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1987. Lydford. Historic Houses Register. A4 Bound. 2.
SDV277122Article in Serial: Wilkinson, J. G.. 1862. On British Remains on Dartmoor. Journal of the British Archaeological Association. 18. Unknown. 119.
SDV320981Monograph: Crossing, W.. 1912 (1965). Crossing's Guide to Dartmoor. Crossing's Guide to Dartmoor. Hardback Volume.
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV336771Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1906. 107NE. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 6 inch Map. Map (Paper).
SDV337942Record Office Collection: Swete, R. J. (Revd). 1792-1801. 564M 'Picturesque Sketches of Devon' by Reverend John Swete. Devon Record Office Collection. Unknown + Digital.
SDV345444Un-published: Gerrard, S.. 2004. List of Sites Remaining to be Considered for Designation on Dartmoor. Digital.
SDV345521Report - Survey: English Heritage. 2005-2008. Prehistoric Survey Information. English Heritage. Digital.
SDV345607Cartographic: Gerrard, S.. 2006. Dartmoor Nationally Important Sites. English Heritage. Digital.
SDV346129Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2011. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #97081 ]
SDV346169Website: English Heritage. 2011. Images of England. www.imagesofengland.org.uk. Website.
SDV346618Aerial Photograph: National Monuments Record. 1979. SF1509. National Monuments Record Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper).
SDV346911Article in Serial: Collier, W. F.. 1887. Venville Rights on Dartmoor. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 19. A5 Hardback. 383.
SDV346912Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1950 - 1988. SX67SW22. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV346913Worksheet: Greeves, T. A. P.. 1981. Worksheet.
SDV346914Article in Serial: Fogwill, E. G.. 1954. Pastoralism on Dartmoor. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 86. A5 Hardback. 105.
SDV346915Article in Serial: Lega-Weekes, E.. 1904-1905. Dartmoor Notes. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 3. Unknown. 125.
SDV346916National Monuments Record Database: National Monuments Record. 2011. 443295. National Monuments Record Database. Website.
SDV346928Cartographic: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. 1985. SX67SW. Air Photographs Unit. Map (Paper).

Associated Monuments

MDV54405Parent of: Hut Circle in Dunnabridge Pound (Monument)
MDV54403Parent of: Hut Circle within Dunnabridge Pound (Monument)
MDV54404Parent of: Hut Circle within Dunnabridge Pound (Monument)
MDV6273Parent of: Stone Seat at Dunnabridge Pound (Monument)
MDV15619Related to: Field system around Dunnabridge Farm (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Sep 1 2017 3:32PM