This can be found in High Street, Kenilworth, between No 39, High Street and the dental practice.
DEFINITION & HISTORY
A high walled and lockable structure, it served several purposes: the most common use was to hold stray sheep, pigs and cattle until they were claimed by the owners, usually for the payment of a fine or levy.The pound could be as small as 225 square feet (a few square metre's), or as big as half an acre or more (0.5 ha) and maybe circular or square. Early pounds had just briar hedges but most were built in stone or brick, making them more stock-proof. The size and shape of village pounds varies, some are four sided: rectangular, square and irregular, others are circular. Pounds are known to date from the medieval period. By the 16th century most villages and townships would have had a pound. Most of what remains today would date from the 16th and 17th centuries.
In Kenilworth we had two pounds, the one shown above and the other near to the entrance to the now Holiday Inn Hotel. This pound in the 20th century was used by the KUDC, and then the "De Monfort Hotel" (Holiday Inn) acquired it, and it was lost to the history of the town and its people.
The pound in the High Street during the second world war had Block House number 3 built in its grounds as shown below, which was demolished by Cllr. Bastock later. Jack Bastock rented the pound at a peppercorn rent until his death on the 20th December 2012, aged 89 years.
The air-raid wardens of Kenilworth would hold their meetings here and this is how the Kenilworth Wardens (a cricket club) started. This is now located at Glasshouse Park, Glasshouse Lane.
In 2013 the Council offered the property for sale. This, however, has been put on hold. Now, I understand, they are considering leasing it. Should this historic part of the town be accessible by the people of Kenilworth or not? Maybe it could be resurfaced and a seat provided for the use of the Kenilworth inhabitants. Arguments against this will be put forward, no doubt. For instance, “it will be a nuisance after pub closing times”; “a place for drug users”; “somewhere for rubbish to be left”. The majority of society miss out then on a rare historic legacy, resulting from poor management.
This historic site should now have a plaque to show what it is and how it was used. It was pointed out at a recent Kenilworth History and Archaeology Society by a former planning officer that WDC officials had to be told what a ‘Pound’ was. He was not sure that what he had told them had been taken on board, hence the problem today.