This can be found in High Street, Kenilworth, between No 39, High Street and the dental practice.

      The Pound, High Street             


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.

Air raid sheler in the Pound

The Castle is held by the Parliamentarians, with Lord Monmouth continuing occupation. Christopher Randall of Kenilworth is indicted for riotously assaulting John Fantam of Kenilworth, and rescuing Edward Smith, whom John Fantam had arrested under a warrant from the Sheriff. John and Ralph Wagstaffe of Kenilworth are indicted for breaking into the common pound and removing two mares and two nags, John's own property. Five husbandmen from "Stoneley" are charged with breaking into the King's coppice. called Button's Coppice, in Kenilworth, and cutting and removing one oak tree. Robert Wells, John Butler, Richard Button, Richard Greetha, all husbandmen. and George Clements, cooper, all of Kenilworth, are charged with taking two oaks from Strawberry Coppice.


Newspaper cutting
Kenilworth Weekly News 25/10/2013

I object most strongly to the possible privatisation of the High Street Pound which would demote the status of a significant, if little known, feature of the town and would result in it being lost to memory.  It is a reminder of Kenilworth's agricultural past when the problem of straying cattle and horses was a problem.  It also was the base for the wardens, 1939-45.
For a town that promotes itself to a large extent on its history it seems counter-productive to lose such a feature as this.  Living where I do I am very much aware of the interest shown in old structures by visitors to the castle area.
Can I suggest that rather than converting the Pound to private use it be tidied up and either benched and opened up as a sitting area or play host to a display of the history of the Warwickshire Longhorn cattle that were the basis of the town's horn-comb and tanning industries.  Perhaps the sixth form Art students might create a Longhorn as part of their A-Level course.
This seems yet another example, as with the bowls pavilion, of certain local politicians taking the easy way out by off-loading a problem rather than employing a bit of lateral thinking.
Peter James

Letters page 06/12/2013

pound vision


Pound now cleared

The Pound now it has been cleared, photo by Pat Cain 16/4/2014

Fund raising night
Fund raising night
Fund raising night at the Talisman in aid of the Pound

      A recording of Patrica Cain on CWR on 21-7-2014



Last Modified 24-09-2015