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This year's programme of WHO lectures

older news from the WHO 1
(before mid-2020)

older news from the WHO 2
(mid-2020 to end 2022)

older news from the WHO 3
(circa 2023)

WHO archive catalogue

the WHO's 'virtual museum'

YouTube videos about Wolds history

Local history articles

Burton on the Wolds




Six Hills

Walton on the Wolds

Willoughby on the Wolds


Wymeswold Airfield

Walton on the Wolds records

early C17th Wymeswold constable's accounts

Wymeswold census returns 1841 to 1901

Wymeswold parish registers 1560 onwards

Wymeswold marriage registers 1560 to 1916

Wymeswold Village Design Statement 2002

WHO publications available as free PDFs

The Wolds Historian 2004–2008

2000 Years of the Wolds

A walk Around Wymeswold

Wymeswold fieldwalking report 1993

In addition the WHO has digitised versions of:

  • George Farnham's unpublished MS of notes about Wymeswold medieval history (akin to a 1920s update of Nichols)
  • Enclosure Award and later maps plus assorted terriers held in the archive of Trinity College Cambridge
  • Marshall Brown's pharmaceutical journal 1869
  • Wymeswold school log books 1875–1982
  • Wymeswold Parochial Charities minutes 1880–1930
  • photographs taken by Philip Brown between 1890s and 1930s
  • Sidney Pell Potter's A History of Wymeswold 1915
  • Lily Brown's diary 1916
  • Church Council Minute Book for St Mary's, Wymeswold 1932–1955
  • WI survey of Wymeswold gravestones (St Mary's; Baptist chapel; Methodist chapel; 'The Quakers') 1981–2
  • Rempstone Steam Fair programme 1983
Email bobtrubs@indigogroup.co.uk to discuss access to these (e.g. via memory stick or ZIP file).

This website does not gather or store any visitor information.

Wymeswold's pinfold's nearest 'rivals'

a.k.a. Thirty Years of Pound-Watching

Bob Trubshaw

Wymeswold's pound in February 1991.

Wymeswold's pound in September 2000.

Wymeswold's pound in June 2008.

Wymeswold's pound in June 2011.

Wymeswold's pound in July 2023.

The terms 'pinfold' and 'pound' are interchangeable throughout England. There was once one in nearly every village. They are enclosures in which cattle and other animals could be held, either as a penalty for straying and causing damage, or as an indemnity against debt or default. They were in regular use before the eighteenth century when straying cattle and sheep were common in the open fields which had no hedges or fences to control animals. After the Enclosure Awards the new hedges kept livestock under better control.

In medieval times the 'pinder' or 'pounder' who looked after the pinfold and any animals was an important officer of the Manor Court. He gathered strays, impounded them, then presented the owners to the Manor Court to be assessed for fines before collecting any fines so the animals could be released.

Attempts were often made to rescue impounded animals. The rescue however had to be completed before the animals reached the pinfold. Once there they were considered in legal custody. Typical fines in the late eighteenth century were 1d for a horse, 2d for twenty sheep and 4d for a pig. In addition the pinder collected recompense for feeding the animals while impounded.

In 'The Shepherd's Calendar', written in 1827, John Clare describes the arduous life of the Helpston Pinder:

    The Pinder on the Sabbath Day
    Soon as the darkness waxes grey
    Goes round the folds at early morn
    To see what stock are in the corn.
    There like a fox upon the watch
    He in the morning tries to catch
    And drive them to the pound for pay
    Careless about the Sabbath Day.
Introduction based on https://www.woodborough-heritage.org.uk/pinfoldappendix.html

Wymeswold's pinfold survives on the north side of Rempstone Road (A6006). Like most surviving pinfolds it is built of brick. Less likely to survive are ones constructed in a post-and-rail style. The posts of the pinfold at East Leake survived until the 1990s; sadly I didn't take a photograph.

Burton on the Wolds also had a post-and-rail pinfold – the last-remaining parts are recorded on the left of this photograph, which looks east towards where the cemetery is now situated.

Scarrington's pinfold in June 2017.

Screveton's pinfold in November 2022.

Plumtree's pinfold in July 2023.

The height of all these is unusually low. More typical of the brick-built pinfolds are those at Scarrington and Screveton (pronounced 'Screeton') in the Vale of Belvoir. After all they needed to retain one or more full-grown cattle. Scarrington's pinfold is about 24 feet across. The one at Screveton is of a similar design but slightly smaller. Both have been sympathetically restored and maintained to a high standard.

Although Wymeswold's pinfold is no older than the nineteenth century probably before that there had been a series of cob-wall or wooden structures. The parish records for 1629 show that 16 shillings was spent on eight quarters of lime and 7s/6d for fetching from Barrow. Cob-walled structures needed regular lime-washing to prevent frost damage and this gives a clue as to the probable construction of the pinfold of this period. Unfortunately we do not know if it was on the site of the surviving one.

By 1991 the lime mortar had seriously deteriorated but the structure was essentially still complete, making it the best-preserved pinfold in Leicestershire. Sadly an ill-advised 'restoration' in the early 1990s badly mutilated the south wall and entrance. There was a further restoration in 2011 then further changes around 2017 associated with the housing development at the southern end of Storkit Lane.

Despite the 1990s mutilation Wymeswold's pinfold has fared better than the one at Prestwold. Prestwold's pinfold may have been a unique example of a pinfold constructed in Swithland slate.

For details of all known pinfolds in Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire see



Wymeswold local history articles