THE UPPINGHAM POUND OR PINFOLD AND BEAST HILL
Print of Uppingham c1900 by J A Nutt showing Pinfold and First School (Uppingham School archives)
Talking about Beast Hill and High St West, the Pound would also have been used to hold beasts which were being walked to market as was the norm pre railways.
The herdsmen would have stayed in the town overnight enroute to London and kept their beasts in the Pound for safety. As it was just off Scale Hill it meant they were closer to the road the next day. Tens of thousands of cattle, geese and sheep were transported by road in that fashion every year.
Mention could also be made of the reason why the Bank on High St West was perhaps established so early. It was safer to put your money in the Bank having sold your beast at the twice weekly market than risk being robbed on your journey home. The roads in the early 19th century were not safe.
This shows the importance of Uppingham’s market that a branch was started here in the early 19th century. Plus I’m sure it will be included, but just to make sure, don’t forget the rings fixed into the front wall of Warwicks old house which were used to tether beasts.
Below the Old Grammar School room lies the medieval Pinfold belonging to the Church. The town’s stocks were sited nearby.
A Pinfold is an enclosure that in the past was maintained either by the manor or vestry to confine stray animals. The Uppingham Pinfold dates back to the 12th century and lies within the Lordship of the Preston with Uppingham Manor. The Lord owned the land but it was in common use by and for the townspeople who appointed a Pindar annually to look after it. To the east is the Beast Market, formerly managed by the Vestry, the same as the Pinfold and is now owned by Uppingham Town Council.
In 1902 Robert Draper of Uppingham, wine merchant and owner of the Vaults, purchased the Pinfold from Lord Gainsborough for £10. In 1923 Robert Draper sold the Pinfold to James Thorpe for £30. In 1935 James Thorpe of the Vaults sold the Pinfold for £30 to the Revd C C Aldred, Rector of Uppingham. The PCC has since sold the Pinfold.
The cattle market was held on Beast Hill and opposite was Hog Hill where the pig market was held.
When the southern direct route was opened in c1750, the London Mail and other coaches were unable to negotiate Scale Hill (or Church Lane) now London Road, to the west of the church. Horn Lane (now named Queen Street) was so named as coaches would take this road into the town in order to avoid the steep hill and would sound their horns to alert the Falcon Hotel of their arrival where food and a change of horses would be waiting. The arched doorway of the hotel used to be where the coaches would enter.