The Lancashire Post reports on how walled yards, or pinfolds – one just outside Broughton and the other in Great Eccleston – might well be the strangest listed buildings in Lancashire.
The Lancashire Post writes:
Thousands drive past the Broughton pinfold every day on their commute to and from work and are completely unaware of its significance, or even what it is.
The word ‘pinfold’ is of Saxon origin from ‘pundfald’ meaning ‘an enclosure’ and dates back to medieval times, and by the end of the 16th century almost every small village across the country would have one. Pinfold was used across the North, North West and East of the country, whereas the word ‘pound’ was more often used in the Midlands, South, and South West. The small, stonewall pens were built to house animals found straying from their owner’s land or grazing somewhere without the necessary rights. For animals to be released from their temporary enclosure and returned to their owners, a fee would have to be paid to the pinder, the person responsible for the pinfolds and an officer for the Lord of the Manor.…
Across Cumbria mainly, artist and sculptor Andy Goldsworthy has produced a number of egg-shaped scultpures, known as the ‘Goldsworthy Cone’ in numerous pinfolds. With there only being three remaining pinfolds across Lancashire today, following the large majority of them having fallen into disrepair or dismantled, effort has been made to preserve them in the interests of history, as they stand as monuments of the villages’ rural past.